They Need You: The Summer Camp Nursing Shortage

We all know about it: there is a shortage of experienced nurses across the United States. The nursing shortage is real, as the demand for nurses continues to exceed the supply. It affects everyone, but the nursing shortage is felt particularly acutely in states such as Florida, Georgia, Texas, Virginia, Arizona, California, and Hawaii.

White Mountains near Camp Pemigewassett (Bryan Pocius, Flickr).

There is one group of employers that has become acutely aware of its impact, however, and you probably wouldn’t have guessed it: summer camps!

As the summer holidays are approaching, summer camps all over the U.S. are searching for nurses. Bangor Daily News blogger Kristine Millard recently reported on the challenges Maine summer camps are experiencing as they try to recruit nurses.

“Knock on wood, we’ve been lucky,” Tracy St. Onge-May told her. She’s the director of The Summer Camp in Washington, ME, and sighed in relief: “Last summer all returned.”

And why wouldn’t a nurse want to work in a summer camp? “It’s a whole different kind of nursing,” the staff coordinator of a girls’ camp in Otisfield told Millard. Nurses have portable radios to communicate, and “we encourage them to walk to beach, go to arts and crafts” in their free time. It’s an especially good opportunity for new nursing school graduates, who are “ideal” for the position.

The Nissitissit River south of Lake Potanipo where Camp Tevya is seeking a camp nurse this summer. (Doc Searls, Flickr).

Here on NurseRecruiter.com, we are also featuring  some great opportunities for nurses who are up for going to camp this summer.

Founded in 1908, Camp Pemigewassett in New Hampshire is located on the shore of idyllic Pemigewasset Lake at the foothills of the rugged and beautiful White Mountains. If you are ready to spend the summer experiencing the stunning natural beauty of the area while helping to provide basic health support to 168 campers aged 8 to 15, then a Camp Nurse position at Pemi may be a perfect fit.

Onward Healthcare is looking for an experienced Pediatric RN to spend the summer at a girls summer camp in Poland, Maine.

In Brookline, New Hampshire, Onward Healthcare is seeking a camp nurse with pediatric experience to work at Camp Tevya.

More summer camp positions are sure to appear as we get closer to summer. If you’re interested in this kind of job, make sure to register here and fill out your profile!

NurseRecruiter now offers free or discounted employer services to non-profit organizations. If you know of a non-profit summer camp looking for nurses, please ask them to contact us so we can help them get started.

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Yes !! I want more information!!!

Very interested, indeed!!! Let me know when you have openings in the state of Oregon, please. What are the benefits? I’ve been a critical care pediatric R.N. for over 40 years and feel that I have the qualifications. I’ve taken care of medical conditions of all kinds; examples are diabetes, seizure and epilepsy, heat stroke,cardiac , asthma, injuries(bone, small soft tissue, etc. I’ve had paramedic and emergency experience as well. Would you care to have my resume?

    Hi Patricia, your qualifications sound excellent!

    To inquire about the job openings that are mentioned in the post, the best thing to do is to click the links and check out the rest of the information there, and then click the “Inquire about this job” button!

    You’ll need to register, but that’s also the best way to keep track of any further jobs that open up, because there are always new ones.

One new grad is okay,but there should be an experienced nurse also! Camp nursing is a specialty and requires a unique skill set. A good camp nurse knows how to keep the drama down, keep parents happy,how to prevent illness and accidents from happening in the first place, and how to keep the camp director from getting heartburn. A good camp nurse is an expert assessor, knowing when to treat on the fly, call Mom, or call an ambulance. A good camp nurse knows that camp nursing should run in the background and is not the star of the show. A good camp nurse knows all of the camps policies and procedures and never steps on the camp directors toes. A good camp nurse can stay up all night when he needs to. A good camp nurse is a leader, but she leads from the background. A good camp nurse has brains and heart in equal measure. Camp nursing is not the ideal stereotypical picture of sitting in a rocking chair in front of the Infirmary. A good camp nurse will be having the time of their life!

    All excellent points! Thank you for making them. You’re right, of course. A summer camp nursing job can be a great opportunity for a new grad, but it’s also a specialization in its own right. Being a really good camp nurse requires expertise and a specific set of skills, both professional and personal, and you describe them very well! Ideally, there’s always an experienced camp nurse on hand to help any new nurse get a handle on them all.

I am currently awaiting word for a position as a summer camp nurse in Maine. But, I am open to another summer camp.
Western North Carolina and, Georgia would be best, as I can travel in my car from my home in South Florida.

Love to be a camp nurse in Western North Carolina South Carolina, or Georgia.

Sounds amazing!

I would not mind doing it but they may think I am too old. I am 74years old. I was in the Army and NCO academy and I am from the country so I am used to being out doors. I was an emergency room nurse for 20 years, ICU nurse for 16 years. Worked in the recovery room and was a School Nurse at Martin Luther King Middle School. Also did mentoring at two different schools. Love kids and don’t have any grandchildren. There have not been too much I have not seen or done but I realize this job may need younger nurses not an older mature motherly nurse. Also I don’t drive long distance on the highway. I am good at handling most injuries.

Hi, I’m a RN working in the OR for 16 years (trauma, orthopaedics and vascular surgery at the moment) in a hospital in Barcelona (Spain). I have already plans for this year but I was wondering if I can access to a summer camp in the USA, in my country this kind of activities doesn’t exist and I think it’s a great experience!
I’m also interested in volunteering.
Thanks.

I’m registered psychiatric nurse on vacation in the USA, it’s a massive lovely country to live in. I’m open to volunteer work and looking forward to possible ways for licensure and prospect.