Mentoring Nurses New to Day Camp Nursing Practice
Rita Ann Laske
Every summer, millions of campers attend day camp, bringing with them a sense of adventure and a variety of healthcare needs. Within the day camp environment, the focus of nursing care may include care of healthy children, adult staff, and/or care of campers with specific healthcare needs. The camp nurse must practice autonomously outside a structured healthcare setting. This role can be challenging, even for the most experienced practitioner. The camp nurse needs the knowledge, skills set, and judgment to practice in such a potentially diverse and challenging setting. To prepare the nurse for this new role, one camp nurse educator describes a mentorship program for nurses new to day camp nursing. The mentor relationship consists of the following strategies: introductory meeting with the mentor, orientation to camp nurse practice, and support and guidance throughout the summer. Through this informal mentoring program, the camp nurse became prepared to provide competent care to campers in a fun-filled summer day camp environment.