Bemidji State University’s (BSU) School of Nursing recently announced that a new graduate program in Camp Nursing is now available. BSU is currently one of the only schools in the United States offering such a program, which is available exclusively online. Registered Nurses who love the great outdoors will be trained in emergency response and care, as well as community and clinical health.
The unique program was developed to educate nurses about the treatment of ordinary camp injuries, as well as how to prevent and treat transmittable diseases and other illnesses. It will train nurses on how to prevent emergencies that can and have previously occurred in camp settings, as well as what to do if they do indeed happen. Nurses will also acquire skills in cultural competency, program planning and leadership.
The Camp Nursing graduate program was developed through the support of the Association of Camp Nurses, as well as camp professionals from all over the U.S. Linda Ebner Erceg, a nurse with extensive and relevant experience when it comes to camp nursing, is the program’s coordinator. She feels that the BSU’s program is an incredible opportunity for education and improvement in the industry and that this type of specialized training is long overdue, especially considering that so many Americans – especially children – spend their summers at camp. In the United States, 12,000 camps serve over 11 million children annually and there are only a handful of Camp Nursing workshops available to properly train nurses on how to best address crisis situations that occur.
Erceg emphasizes the importance that this type of specialized initiative has, since it teaches unique skills that are not typically acquired in a traditional nursing program and exposes nurses to new settings that are often times unfamiliar. While the course is offered online, students must put their skills into practice at an actual campground in their area, in preparation for their future careers as camp nurses.