A Toolkit For Developing A Summer Nursing Boot Camp For High School Students

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  • Good afternoon. I am Susan Sanner and this is my colleague Katrina Barnes. We are from Clayton State University and are delighted to present our Summer Nursing Boot Camp program for High School students.
  • This project is supported by federal funds received from HRSA, Division of Nursing under the Nursing Workforce Diversity program.
  • In this particular grant program, three areas must be addressed and all strategies are aimed at increasing the number of minority and disadvantaged students in nursing. Strategies aimed at retention focus on students enrolled in the nursing program. Strategies for Pre-entry preparation are aimed at individuals who are striving to get into a nursing program and includes pre-nursing and high school students. The third area involves the awarding of stipends and scholarships to nursing, pre-nursing and high school students. Today, we are sharing our Summer Nursing Boot Camp program which is a pre-entry activity aimed at recruiting minority and disadvantaged high school students into nursing.
  • Our objectives are to:
  • It hasn’t been difficult to support the need for our summer nursing camp. Georgia has one of the lowest public high school graduation rates nationwide. You can see some of the statistics here as well as Georgia’s ranking among the 50 states in terms of high school graduation.
  • Another need for the summer camp is based on the population demographics in Georgia and especially in Clayton County where CSU is located and where we have the summer camp. Overall, Georgia represents a white majority. Clayton county, on the other hand, has a majority minority population where over 71% of the individuals are of an ethnic minority.
  • Although the high school graduation rates in Georgia have been lower than in many other states, there is evidence that demonstrates that this changing. With the graduation rates improving in Clayton County, we see an opportunity to recruit these diverse high school graduates into college and ultimately the nursing program. The Summer Boot camp is a way for us to do this.
  • Since 2002, we have been fortunate to have received federal funding through the nursing workforce diversity grant program to support our summer camp. Over the years, we have been able to refine the process of selecting our camp participants. Involving the health occupation teachers at selected high schools has given us access to some highly qualified high school students that we would be delighted to recruit into the nursing profession. Katrina, me, and our grants manager, Toni Dixon begin making contact and visiting the high schools in January and February of each year. We take brochures and applications to the actual classes and pass them out. We tell the students about HRSA’s eligibility criteria for participation. They have to be from a minority or disadvantaged group; parents have to be in a certain income bracket, for example. The Health occupation teachers also make recommendations. Katrina and I make the final decision on who is selected to participate.
  • It’s nice having validation that what we are doing to recruit high school students into nursing is an effective means. I consulted the literature for the design of the boot camp activities and just to see in general, if what we have been doing over the last few years is what we should be doing in the camp. I have found that the literature supports a summer camp as an effective means for recruiting high school students into nursing.
  • This was important information for us to know in designing the types of camp activities that Katrina is going to share with you in just a few moments.
  • If you are interested in designing a summer camp, There are some excellent examples of summer camps for high school students in the nursing literature.
  • Their camp focus on minority disadvantaged students where the goal was to provide students enough information about nursing so they could make an informed decision. Read specific activities. One of the things that impressed me is that they are continually tracking their high school participants over time to see what career they chose.
  • Here’s another program aimed at recruiting minority/disadvantaged students into the nursing program. In this case, they focused on middle and high school students and their goal was to provide them information about nursing and also what it’s like to be a college student. Focusing on the college experience is very important because many of the students we recruit are first generation college students.
  • Here is an article that focused on high risk students with ESL dropping out of high school, rather than focusing on recruiting the best and the brightest students to the camp (which is what we do at CSU). I like how they involved the currently enrolled nursing students to introduce high school students to some of the things that nurses do. I think it is so much more effective when high school students can talk to nursing students. They are closer in age and the nursing students still remember what it was like going through high school and trying to get in college.
  • Here is another example of where the authors’ purpose was to introduce students to academics and nursing.


  • 1. A Toolkit for Developing a Summer Nursing Boot Camp for High School Students Susan Sanner, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, CNE Katrina Barnes, MS, RN Lillian Parker, PhD, RN Sue Odom, DSN, RN Clayton State University GANE Conference February 19, 2010
  • 2.
    • This project is supported by funds from the Division of Nursing (DN), Bureau of Health Professions ( BHPr ), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) under D19HP08207-01-00, Partnering to Increase the Nursing Workforce Diversity for $ 1,005,000 . The information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any official endorsement be inferred by, the DN, BHPr , HRSA, DHHS, or the US Government.”
  • 3. Introduction
    • The Summer Boot Camp is federally funded by a HRSA, Division of Nursing, Nursing Workforce Diversity grant.
    • Three areas must be addressed
      • Retention
      • Pre-Entry preparation
      • Stipends and scholarships
    • The Boot Camp is a pre-entry activity aimed at recruiting high school students.
  • 4. Presentation Objectives
    • Discuss the purpose and need for a Summer Boot Camp for minority/disadvantaged high school students.
    • Explain how high school students were recruited.
    • Describe the development of a Summer Boot Camp that promotes minority/disadvantaged students into college and nursing.
    • Introduce the Toolkit components developed for the Boot Camp.
  • 5. Purpose and Need for the Boot Camp
    • Georgia continues to have one of the lowest public high school graduation rates nationwide.
    • In 2004, 55% of the fall 2000 ninth graders at Georgia’s public high schools graduated with a high school diploma.
    • This is a ranking of 47 th among 50 states (University System of Georgia Enrollment Trends and Projections 2018, 2006).
  • 6. Purpose and Need for the Boot Camp
    • Although the overall population demographics in Georgia represents a White majority population (65.6%), Clayton county has a majority minority population.
    • Only 34% of the total county population is White while 71.5% consists of other races and ethnicities.
    • African Americans (73%) constitute the highest minority group.
    • (Georgia Quick Facts, 2009).
  • 7. The Good News
    • Georgia is expected to experience growth in the number of high school graduates (Georgia Quick Facts, 2009).
    • This is an opportunity for schools of nursing to recruit diverse high school students into college and the nursing profession.
  • 8. Selection of Participants
    • Contacted health occupation teachers at selected high schools.
    • Visited the health occupation classes to distribute brochures and applications.
    • Identified eligible participants according to HRSA guidelines.
    • Health occupation teachers recommended students based on completed applications.
  • 9. Review of Literature
    • The nursing literature supports a summer camp as an effective means for recruiting high school students into nursing.
  • 10. Reality Check!
    • Youth may not consider nursing as a viable career because of their lack of knowledge about the nature of nursing.
    • Stereotypical portrayals of nurses may not provide accurate information.
    • Preconceived ideas about nursing may impact youth career choices.
    • (Bumgarner, et al., 2003).
  • 11.
    • Examples of Summer Camps
  • 12. Bumgarner, et al., (2003)
    • Aimed at recruiting underrepresented minority and disadvantaged students.
    • Focused on providing opportunities for students to experience health care professions so they could make educated decisions.
    • Specific activities:
      • Presentations made by health care professionals.
      • Observational tour groups in a variety of health care facilities.
      • Patient simulation laboratory.
      • Over a ten year period, 50% of participants chose nursing as a career.
  • 13. Stewart & Cleveland, 2003
    • Wisconsin Youth in Nursing program.
    • Aimed at students of color interested in a nursing career and increasing the workforce diversity.
    • Focused on middle and high school students.
    • Introduced students to the college experience and nursing careers:
      • Discussed career paths with practicing nurses.
      • Introduced to health assessment techniques.
      • Participated in a nursing skills lab
      • Participated in a pathophysiology review
      • Enhancement of computer skills
  • 14. Bare (2007)
    • Focused on high risk students with ESL dropping out of high school.
    • Used groups of nursing students enrolled in a community health course to introduce high school students to what nurses do:
      • Vital signs
      • CPR and Heimlich maneuver
      • Normal vaginal birth demonstrations
      • Fire and safety prevention
      • Panel discussion of professional nurses explaining how they entered the nursing profession.
  • 15. Cluskey, et al. (2006)
    • Developed a one-week summer residential program for high school students.
    • Explored their academic interest and experienced campus life.
    • Activities included:
      • Exploration of various nursing roles
      • Experienced how students learn
      • Observed and interacted with nurses in practice settings.
      • Prepared for choosing a nursing school.
      • CPR certification.
  • 16. Summary of the Literature
    • Supports a variety of approaches offered during a camp.
    • Major themes that supported the need for a camp included:
      • Reducing the nursing shortage
      • Increasing the nursing workforce diversity
      • Dispelling stereotypes and misperceptions about nursing roles.
  • 17. Major Themes of the Summer Nursing Boot Camp
    • Knowledge of nursing
    • Role development of a professional nurse
    • Skills performed by a nurse
    • How to be successful in college
  • 18. Theme 1: Knowledge of Nursing
    • On the first day of the camp, students complete the Knowledge of Nursing pre-test to identify their baseline knowledge of the nursing professional and tasks performed by a nurse.
    • 5 point Likert-type scale aimed at obtaining information about their perceptions of nursing.
    • Respondent choices include Strongly Agree, Agree, Neutral, Disagree, Strongly Agree.
    • On the last day of the camp, the participants complete the same survey as a post-test.
  • 19. Example Items on Knowledge of Nursing Pre-Test
    • Nursing is the largest healthcare profession in the world.
    • In hospitals, nurses have a limited role in caring for their patients.
    • Blood pressure is measured using a sphygmomanometer and a correct size cuff and stethoscope.
    • Right now I am considering being a nurse.
  • 20. Theme 2: Role Development of a Professional Nurse
    • Faculty share their practice specialties and why they became nurses and nurse educators.
    • Student nurses share why they want to become nurses and what camp participants might experience as nursing students.
    • Student nurses present a PowerPoint, Reach for your Dream, that provides an overview of specific nursing roles.
    • One day tour of select units at Grady Health System.
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  • 40. Theme 3:Skills Performed by a Nurse
    • One day was devoted to the skills lab.
    • Student nurses presented another PowerPoint on the specific skills the high schools students would perform in the lab.
    • Student nurses demonstrated the lab stations and monitored the participants’ performance at each station.
    • Skills covered were:
      • Hand washing
      • Vital signs
      • Basic principles of I.V. therapy
      • Basics of medication administration
      • Changing a sterile wound dressing
      • Assistive mobility devices
      • CPR certification
      • Simulated vaginal birth experience
  • 41. Theme 4: How to be Successful in College
    • Office of Admissions provided a campus tour on Day 1 of the camp.
    • Office of Admissions also coordinated a campus scavenger hunt on the last day of the camp.
    • Center for Academic Success assessed learning styles and engaged participants in discussion about learning strategies that relate to their individual learning styles.
    • Nursing program advisor presentation.
    • Dean of Retention and Student Success engaged camp participants in an interactive, informal discussion about being successful in college.
  • 42. Example of an Interactive Activity
    • J. is a first year college student. She is a pre-nursing student getting ready for her classes. She is enrolled in a chemistry class, an English class, a biology class, a critical thinking class and two lab classes. J. knows that she needs the best grades she can get to be admitted into the school of nursing, which is a highly competitive program. So, she wants to be as prepared as possible before the first day of classes. However, she does not know what to do that would help. Neither of her parents have been to college before, so she cannot ask them. Her friends are telling her that she worries too much and to just wait until classes begin.
  • 43. Summary of Toolkit Items That Can Be Adapted to Other Nursing Programs
    • Information brochures
    • Applications
    • Camp agenda
    • Knowledge of Nursing pre/post test
    • Reach for Your Dream PowerPoint
    • Campus tour agenda
    • Case studies to facilitate college student success
    • Learning styles inventory
    • Tour of health facility
    • Program evaluation
    • Scavenger hunt form
    • Certificates of completion
    • Scrap book and pictures
  • 44.
    • Thank You. Any Questions?