FORT KENT, Maine — Across the United States, hospital and health care facilities are struggling to recruit nurses, and northern Maine is no exception.
That is why the University of Maine at Fort Kent once again will hold a camp geared toward attracting more young people to the profession.
The Fort Kent college is preparing for Nursing Discovery Camp this summer. The session will run from June 29 through July 2.
The camp is co-sponsored by Northern Maine Medical Center and Acadia Health Education Coalition, along with UMFK’s nursing program and academic outreach office.
The nursing camp was created primarily for students entering their junior and senior years of high school.
“The camp is a combination of lectures and discussions along with hands-on learning,” Don Eno, coordinator of academic outreach at UMFK, said last week. “This camp gives them the opportunity to explore the nursing profession while also learning what it is like to live on a college campus. We have had great participation. Those who have attended have really enjoyed it.”
Participants in the nursing camp are introduced to all aspects of the profession while getting the chance to job-shadow alongside nurses at Northern Maine Medical Center.
During the camp, participants learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid skills, and work with patient simulators. While at the hospital, Eno said, students will visit departments including the emergency room, operating room, obstetrical unit, medical and surgical units and the intensive care unit.
“The participants respond very well to the program,” said Eno. “We have students from throughout the state who take part in this and they enjoy the hands-on experience as well as the job shadowing.”
Eno said most of the campers are girls, but boys also have participated in the camp.
He added that the camp helps some students solidify a career choice.
“Sometimes students get here and they meet other health professionals and get interested in other health fields,” he said. “This camp helps open doors for these participants.”
Deadline for accepting applications is Saturday, May 30. Students may register online at www.umfk.maine.edu/academics/programs/nur/camp. For information, contact Eno at 834-7835.