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Teens Exploring Nursing camp helps students in pursuing nursing career

Participants at Campbellsville University’s Teens Exploring Nursing camp include, from left: Front row–Mollie Bailey, Emma Hardin, Josie Young, Isabella Hayden, Olivia Wright, Rachel Ray, Kayla Robertaccio-Pinnick, Alyssa, Simpson, Skeet Carter and Dena Clements. Back row–Alexis Conover, Piper Ritchie, Ada Gass, Kristin Smith, Rhonda Vale, Nikki French, Cody Shepperson, Maddie Wiser, Tom LeCompte, Payton Rix and Lindsey Bland. (Campbellsville University Photo by Gerard Flanagan)

By Gerard Flanagan, news writer and photographer, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Local high school students considering a career in nursing came to Campbellsville University recently to explore the ins and outs of nursing during a Teens Exploring Nursing camp hosted by the university’s School of Nursing.

“Students coming out of high school are expected to make career decisions when they go to college,” Dena Clements, RN program coordinator and instructor for the camp, said.

“We wanted to provide an opportunity for the students to explore the field of nursing before applying to college and making a decision on where to attend. This experience gives the students a chance to ask questions and to be with nursing faculty.”

In total, 14 campers participated.

Campers participating are as follows: Mollie Bailey, Campbellsville High School; Skeet Carter, Adair County High School; Alexis Conover, Adair County High School; Ada Gass, Adair County High School; Emma Hardin, Marion County High School;

Isabella Hayden, Marion County High School; Piper Ritchie, Campbellsville High School, Payton Rix, Adair County High School, Kayla Robertaccio-Pinnick, Hope Christian Academy; Alyssa Simpson, Adair County High School;

Maddie Wiser, Marion County High School; Olivia Wright, Marion County High School; Josie Young, Green County High School; and Rachel Ray, Meade County High School.

“We want to make nursing appealing but also give them the truth of nursing. It’s hard and rewarding but amazing,” Clements said.

During the camp, participants learned how to bandage wounds, use a stethoscope, learn how to interpret medical readings and listened to a panel of nurses. Participants also saw an Air Evac helicopter land on campus and had the chance to talk to the pilot, paramedic and flight nurse.

“Participants provided great feedback and really enjoyed the nursing panel,” Rhonda Vale, instructor of nursing and clinical/lab coordinator, said. “I can say that I think they will have had the opportunity to see if they want to find their calling at CU’s School of Nursing.”

Vale said the camp was a great help to students in several ways.

“It helped students decide on a career in nursing as they were shown how to perform practical nursing skills such as applying and removing personal protective equipment, a skill that helped them understand the very important role nurses played in our community during the recent pandemic,” Vale said.

“Students gained knowledge of different pathways in nursing by listening to the panel of nursing experts. They were able to ask local nursing experts questions that helped them gain a clearer understanding of the education needed to work in a wide variety of nursing positions.”

Emma Hardin, who will be a junior at Marion County High School in Lebanon this academic year, said she found the camp to be very interesting and fun.

“I think hearing stories and asking questions to experienced nurses really helped me get a good idea of what nurses do in their specialties,” she said. “I really enjoyed every activity, but I especially liked learning how to put on PPE and seeing the Air Evac helicopter.”

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 12,500 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.