A Day in the Life of a Camp Nurse

photo credit Iroquois Springs Camp

Let us help you imagine what a typical day as a camp nurse may be like.

You wake up to the sound of birds outside your window and fresh air on your face. You hear the distant giggle of children as they take an early morning swim in the gorgeous lake. In fact, you can see them right out your window – check out that gorgeous lake view with the mountains in the background.

photo credit IHC

Off to the dining hall for a bite to eat. That’s right; no cooking or kitchen clean up for you this summer! Camps now offer healthy and great tasting options in the dining hall, and many offer a buffet bar to suit the tastes of all campers and staff. After visiting with new camp friends and enjoying your morning coffee, you check in at the heath center for your daily shift.

The day begins with medication dispersal to any campers and staff who take daily medications or who are currently taking antibiotics. Gone are the days when nurses had to single-handedly manage all the campers’ medications bottle by bottle. Many camps now use highly organized outside companies to pre-package all the campers daily medications to keep the health center running smoothly and efficiently.

photo credit Camp Towanda

Next duty comes sick call, where you help out the doctor on duty to assess any strep throats, rashes, stomach aches, etc. Many camps keep a doctor on staff and all camps accredited by the American Camp Association operate under standing orders compliant with their state. If you are at a camp without a doctor on duty, you or another nurse are assessing the campers’ illnesses.

staff looking for a job
photo credit Camp Towanda

The health center is a busy place! In between chatting with the campers who come in for assistance, you may find yourself answering the phone or charting. You may have to schedule a doctor’s visit (perhaps an x-ray or something else that cannot usually be handled on camp grounds), or even be the one to drive the camper to the doctor out of camp.

Camp KenMont KenWood

As the day continues, you look at the daily schedule and see you have the afternoon off. What a great time to take advantage of the facilities at camp. You schedule a time to climb on the rock wall and you make it to the top. Congratulations! To cool off, you take out a kayak and enjoy the serenity of the water. You may even see your own children out on the water (yes, most camps allow nurses to bring their own children as campers for free or at steeply reduced rates – be sure to ask).





After dinner (again, in the dining hall. Still no cooking or washing dishes for you this summer! and still awesome and tasty options), you head back to the heath center ready for the second part of your daily shift. You come back re-energized and ready to work.  Campers stop by if they take bed-time meds. This is also the time to give injections like growth hormone shots and to follow up with campers on health issues they had during the day. Again you find yourself charting, assisting, and assessing. You are part of a team; some camps have two nurses and some have as many as nine or ten, depending on the population size of the camp.

Every camp will have its varying degree of nurse responsibilities and scheduling.  However, every camp is looking for a dynamic nurse who can multi-task and be a positive role models for its campers.  Think about your skill set. Are you a team player? Do you enjoy new adventures? Do you like working with kids? Are you looking to learn at your summer job? If yes, then a camp nurse job may be in your near future!

Your next step is to find that summer camp job! Join us for FREE at CampStaffNurses.com to find hundreds of summer camp jobs across the country.  With one free, simple application, you can apply to dozens of summer camps and summer camps can search for you!

Prefer to listen to what it’s like to be a camp nurse? Here’s a great interview podcast with a veteran camp nurse explaining the values of working at summer camp.

2 Useful Facts if You are Considering Being a Camp Nurse

Thinking about being a camp nurse this summer, but not sure if it will work for you? Here’s two facts about working as a nurse at camp that may help you with your decision. You can also read our blog post on the truth about being a camp nurse if you’d like to find out more about camp nursing.


Fact #1: You may work as a nurse in a state other than the state where you currently hold your license.

Great news for nurses out there considering working at summer camp this year!
If you thought you were bound by the confines of your state boundary, this will come as great news to you. With just a little bit of effort, you can be enjoying your summer working in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado or the beaches of California (or the state of your choice!) while earning an income.

If you are licensed in a nurse licensure compact (NLC) state, you can practice in other NLC states without having to obtain an additional license. To check if your state is a NLC state, check out the easy to read map at NCSBN.org

If your state, or the state you wish to work in, is not a NLC state, don’t be dismayed – you may still easily apply for a license of reciprocity in which you are able to become licensed in time to work at summer camp. 

So, how do you go about finding a camp job now that you know all this good information about licensing?

  1. Register at CampStaffNurses.com (it’s free!) to gain access to hundreds of summer camp nurse jobs available for this summer. 
  2. Once you find the camp of your dreams, talk to the camp about how best to go about your licensing. If there is payment due, many camps will pick up the cost of this as part of your compensation 

Start now. It may take a few months to get your employment taken care of in addition to any licensing paperwork. 

Fact #2: Many summer camps will hire nurses for part of the summer if you are not able to commit your entire summer to camp.

Ideally, you work at a camp and can make the start date somewhere in early-June and stay all through the summer until the end date, sometime in mid-August. However, if you cannot commit to the full summer because your job at home mandates that you are home, still consider working at camp this summer. Many camps are flexible about the dates for nurses to work and will consider 2-4 week stints for their health care staff. Again, find the camps you are interested in and contact them with your questions in mind. Camps may be willing to work with your schedule!

Questions? Email us at staff@campstaff.com

photo credit Camp Towanda


3 Super Perks for Summer Camp Nurses

Nurses are in high demand EVERYWHERE so why not try a few weeks
SOMEWHERE new?  Summer camps throughout the US and Canada are hiring summer nurses.  Here are 3 reasons you should give camp nursing a try!
1. Travel – When we said everywhere, we mean everywhere. Camps from the New England coastline to the California beaches are hiring nurses. Contracts can vary from one week to 12 weeks depending on the camps schedule. If you’ve ever though of spending a summer hiking and boating in the mountains, here’s your chance. If you wondered what a major city is really like, camps are located within easy drink distance of every major US city.  With free room and board and very good salaries, camps are the perfect bases for exploring a region you may be considering relocating to.  The bonus perk is that because summer camps attract staff from around the world, you will certainly make friends worth visiting around the globe!


2. Bring your family with you – You can read more about picking a camp and bringing your family with you in our other blog posts.  For nurses, this is an almost given – work at summer camp and you kids attend FREE. You kids will be placed in a cabin group at sleep away camp or day camp just like the full paying campers. Your kids will have all the benefits of summer camp life. You get the special privilege of being able to see them run happily by with their new friends, while you spend a summer in the best nursing job you’ve ever had.

3. Free in-state licensing. Your new camp will pay for and will help you with the process of getting the appropriate licensing. So don’t limit your nursing search to states you are current in, pick a new one. They do this every year and will know the best way to make it happen. You can focus on packing up for the summer of you life!

CampStaffNurses has current nursing needs for some the best summer camps. Register for free and let camps come to you. Follow our social media feeds @campstaffnurses for daily updates.
Photo Credit Camp Bryn Mawr
Looking for Summer Camp Staff? Camps can join CampStaff.com and search through thousands of staff applications. We’ve been connecting summer camps and summer camp staff since 1996.  Let CampStaff help you find the perfect summer camp staff.  Looking for nurses? Visit us at CampStaffNurses.com.
Looking for a summer camp job? Campstaff.com is a free, single application website connecting staff with thousands of summer camp jobs at hundreds of summer camps across the United States and Canada. 
RN’s, LPN’s, student nurses, and other medical professionals, CampStaffNurses.com has summer camp nursing jobs across the United States at some of the most beautiful summer camp locations.  Spend your summer working with great co-workers. Many camps offer the option to bring your family to camp. Apply today for free with a single application at CampStaffNurses.com