Generally, practising in a camp setting, as either a volunteer or paid employee, means that you work autonomously as an RN outside of a health care facility and often without other health-care providers. The responsibilities of camp nurses vary from camp to camp but the role primarily consists of helping campers meet their health needs, preventing injury and providing care in emergency situations. Regardless of the practice setting, you are accountable to practice in accordance with your Standards of Practice for Registered Nurses and Code of Ethics, to work within your individual scope of practice and to be aware of provincial regulations that relate to your role as a camp nurse.
Ensuring the camp has policies and protocols in place will be an important factor in enabling you to meet your standards. For example, the camp should have a protocol for managing urgent, emergent or life-threatening illnesses or injuries. In this type of situation, you must complete an assessment, call 911 and provide life sustaining care within your scope of practice until Emergency Health Services arrives and the camper is transferred to another health care professional or facility.
Before you accept the position as camp nurse, the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia (CRNNS) recommends that you review the job description and discuss any questions or concerns with the employer. In addition, you should determine if the camp has policies related to liability insurance protection. Licence holders with CRNNS receive liability protection from the Canadian Nurses Protective Society (CNPS), which is available whether you are practising as a volunteer or paid camp employee. To determine if your liability protection is adequate, please contact an advisor at CNPS.
If you hold an active-practising licence with the CRNNS, there are no additional licensure requirements; however, if you are licensed in another Canadian jurisdiction, you will need to apply for a “temporary licence – special event” with CRNNS.
For more information refer to the following CRNNS guidelines:
The camp environment offers a unique model of care delivery and, as a result, camp nurses require the competence to practice in this setting. If you have any questions about this Ask a Practice Consultant or another area of practice, please reach out to a Practice Consultant at firstname.lastname@example.org.