Monday, November 5, 2007

This presentation is part of : Developing Leaders for the Future
Mentoring the Next Generation of Nurse Leaders
Sharon Koval Falkenstern, PhD, CRNP, Lisa Marie Salvato, MS, CRNP, and Jennifer Harris, MS, CRNP. School of Nursing, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA
Learning Objective #1: discuss preparation of an exciting curriculum of nursing history, nursing roles, nursing skills, and leadership career paths for nursing camp participants
Learning Objective #2: encourage and inspire future generations of youth to enter the nursing profession by discussing the many rewards and leadership career options available in nursing

The ongoing nursing shortage will continue if youth do not choose to enter nursing. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that over one million nursing jobs will be unfilled by 2020 if present trends continue. The purpose of this project is to encourage youth to consider nursing as a career, project a positive image of nursing to the public, and advocate for the roles of nurses as leaders.
In 2004, 2005, and 2006, Penn State nursing faculty and students planned and implemented Nursing Career Camps for a total of 22 youth aged 10-14 years. Organizing daily themes included “Why be a nurse? How can I become a nurse? Nurses know how the body works, Nurses save lives, Nurses have many careers, and Nurses make a difference.” Learning activities included computer labs for internet exploration of nursing websites, and field trips to the local hospital, university student health center, and research laboratories. All campers completed first aid and CPR training. Campers interviewed practicing nurses, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse researchers, and nurse educators. As a community service project, campers filled boxes with toys and activities for chronically ill and hospitalized children. Based on positive evaluations from parents and campers, Nursing Camp will be offered in 2007 and in future summers.
As advocates of nursing, we communicate our roles as health care providers, teachers, leaders. Through contact with youth and their parents, we influence them as well as  their peers, teachers, and extended family about careers in nursing. Penn State Nursing Camp received media coverage on regional television, in local newspapers, and university publications. Nursing Camp is one way that nurses can project a positive image of nursing to the public and mentor the next generation of nurses.