July 16, 2008
Fifteen high school students attended a four-day “Nursing Discovery Camp,” which was held on the University of Maine at Fort Kent campus and at Northern Maine Medical Center, from June 7 through 10.
"Setting career goals at an early age helps adolescents to plan constructively for their future. The Division of Nursing feels that the Nursing Discovery Camp will increase awareness of the career opportunities offered here in the St. John Valley and beyond," said Erin Soucy, UMFK's director and assistant professor of nursing. "We hope to stimulate excitement about nursing. Participants will have the opportunity to learn select nursing skills, job shadow, and speak with nursing students enrolled at UMFK and with practicing nurses."
“The Nursing Discovery Camp is a unique experience for students who are exploring a career in healthcare. The student is provided opportunities to see what it is like in multiple areas of acute care, to speak with registered nurses and other healthcare providers firsthand about their profession, and to have hands on practice with patient care equipment,” noted Joanne Fortin, director of nursing at NMMC.
The nursing camp participants were involved with hands-on activities, lectures, and nurse job shadowing. They were engaged in learning how to take vital signs and perform basic first aid skills. In addition to being introduced to the overall field of nursing, the students also explored specific nursing fields including medical-surgical, obstetrical, operating room, emergency, intensive care unit and advanced practice nursing.
“We encourage students who are interested in nursing to find out more about the profession so that they can make an informed decision abut attending a nursing program when they graduate from high school,” said Diana White, UMFK’s assistant professor of mental health. “Nursing is academically challenging and requires maturity as well as an interest in people and their problems. Students who participate in camp have the opportunity to see nurses using different skills and they acquire a sense of the knowledge and skills necessary in the profession."
The camp is co-sponsored by Northern Maine Medical Center and Acadia Health Education Coalition & Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, along with the UMFK Nursing Program and Academic Outreach Office.
For more information on nursing or other camps held at on the UMFK campus, please contact Donald Eno at 834-7835.