At the Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing, we are highly aware of society’s increased need for nurses in coming years and decades, and we want to be proactive and innovative in our leadership to fill that need. As part of our efforts to develop a pipeline of future nurses, we introduced Nursing Camp in Summer at UC Irvine (NCIS: UCI) for high school students in 2017. The only program of its kind in the state, NCIS: UCI provides a hands-on introduction to the many types of nursing for high school students who are interested in exploring nursing as a career. This early exposure to nursing can make a big difference in whether a student chooses to apply directly to a school of nursing out of high school.
The 2017 inaugural one-week NCIS: UCI program for 30 students was so successful, we added a second one-week session in 2018 to accommodate high demand for the camp. In 2018, we had a total of 56 high school student campers from 5 different states including California, Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. Of the 56 total campers, we were able to offer 11 need-based scholarships, which allowed recipients to attend the camp at no charge. In 2019, we had a total of 58 high school student campers from California, Texas, Oregon, and New York and a total of 10 need-based scholarships.
At NCIS: UCI, our student campers participated in actual clinical nursing experiences. Campers learned nursing skills such as IV insertions, injections, vital signs, CPR, first aid, and volar splinting, among many other real-life procedures.
They were introduced to the variety of careers available in nursing during a Q&A with a panel of diverse nursing professionals, including a registered nurse, a family nurse practitioner, an adult/geriatric nurse practitioner, an OR nurse, and a Clinical Nurse Manager. Also on the panel was an Academic Counselor from our Student Affairs office, who answered questions related to the college application process, required courses, and the specifics of applying to nursing programs.
The student campers particularly loved the shadowing/preceptorship portion of camp during which students got to follow nurses practicing in the clinic at Gottschalk Medical Plaza on campus. Many campers expressed that NCIS: UCI opened their eyes to the various pathways that a nursing career offers, and expanded their view of the profession.
For more information about NCIS: UCI, please visit: http://sites.uci.edu/ncis/.
To see nursing camp students in action, please visit the gallery page: https://sites.uci.edu/ncis/gallery/.