News Bulletin VO. 25 NO. 3
Ask a Nursing Advisor: Camp Nursing
I’ve been asked to be a camp nurse this summer in Saskatchewan, and I have never done this before. I want to ensure I’m practicing safely and working within my scope.
- What does it mean to be a camp nurse?
- Do you have any resources or guidance that might support me as a Registered Nurse to do this?
Many Registered Nurses volunteer or get paid to be a Camp Nurse over the summer. That’s wonderful that you’re considering this opportunity! We appreciate and recognize the value and expertise Registered Nurses bring to this role to provide safe, knowledgeable, ethical, and comprehensive care. Connecting with the campers, staff, and more can be a unique, challenging and rewarding experience.
What is Camp Nursing?
Camp Nurses are clinicians, educators, counselors, care coordinators and leaders. They have an incredible impact on the health and well-being of campers and their families, who feel reassured that their loved ones will have access to nursing care if needed while away from home.
Camp Nurses often work autonomously but may also work as a team. Camp Nurses may need to manage various acute and chronic health conditions and employ their knowledge, skill and judgment to manage situations. The responsibilities of camp nursing vary from camp to camp, but the Camp Nurse role follows the nursing process and is typically responsible for the following:
- Complying with CNA Code of Ethics, 2017; RN Practice Standards; RN Entry-Level Competencies; and/or NP Practice Standards; NP Entry-Level Competencies
- Following agency protocols and procedures
- Following and implementing infection prevention and control and emergency processes
- Coordinating and prioritizing routine and emergent care
- Preventing and treating injury and intervening as needed so that the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health needs of campers and others are safely met
- Monitoring health conditions, being alert for allergies, managing medications (including ensuring medication security), providing education, providing emotional support, having knowledge of growth and development and common health conditions
- Communicating with families and the agency as needed
- Maintaining boundaries, privacy, confidentiality and ensuring consent and that parental consent is documented
- Completing documentation (Documentation Guideline, 2021)
- Anticipating scenarios, being ready and flexible for anything at any time and referring as appropriate
|Common Health Conditions & Potential Challenges||Common Issues|
*Note, this is not an exhaustive list.
The CRNS self-assessment tool can support you to examine your competence and determine if camp nursing is within your legislated scope of practice.
Some foundational resources to review and have available for camp nursing are:
- CNA Code of Ethics, 2017; RN Practice Standards; RN Entry-Level Competencies; and/or NP Practice Standards; NP Entry-Level Competencies
- Medication Management Guideline, 2021;
- Guideline for RNs Recommending & Administering Nonprescription Drugs, 2020
- Documentation Guideline, 2021
- RN Specialty Practices Guideline, 2020
- Professional Boundary Considerations for Nurse Client Relationships CRNS, 2021
Agency Policy, Supportive Documents and Best Practice
It’s important to follow established agency policy or supportive documents, incorporate best practices in nursing being delivered in a camp setting, and follow the nursing process (assessment, nursing diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation).
- Is there any conflict of interest with your primary area of employment? You can discuss this with your employer and the camp agency.
Education and Personal Competence
Reviewing foundational resources, agency policy and best practices listed above can help you determine if you have the competence, knowledge, skill, and judgment to be a safe Camp Nurse.
- Are there any gaps in your competence? You can address them through orientation, education, etc., to ensure you can provide safe and ethical care relative to that setting.
RNs in Saskatchewan have basic liability protection as part of their registration through the Canadian Nurses Protective Society (CNPS) when working within their scope of practice.
- Does the camp agency have any additional liability protection or insurance?
- Who can you talk to about additional legal considerations/liability? To ensure your liability coverage is adequate in your role, it is recommended that you contact the CNPS. Their number is 1-800-267-3390. Remember to have your registration number available before calling; they will ask you for this.
If you become a Camp Nurse, we invite you to share your experiences and learning with other nurses on our Facebook page, CRNS Connects.
If you have any questions, contact us, and we’d be happy to connect and provide guidance tailored to your unique context and situation.
CRNA (2023). Camp nursing guidelines. Retrieved from