UNLV hopes ‘nurse camp’ will increase interest in nursing program and help shortage

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — UNLV is hoping to increase interest in its nursing program this week through a one-of-a-kind event called ‘Nurse Camp.’ It’s also part of a more significant effort to address a nationwide issue of a nurse shortage.

Miranda Steiner was one of 30 high schoolers who attended UNLV’s first-ever nurse camp. The camp is a week-long program where teens can see first-hand what being a nurse is all about.

“I really took an interest in nursing since like kindergarten,” said Steiner. “My aunt, she was a nurse, so I really took an interest to it, so I wanted to learn more about it, and what specialty I wanted to be in.”

The teens learned everything, including how to perform procedures, assist the physically disabled, and how to understand ultrasounds.

UNLV says having a camp like this is essential. Especially, now more than ever, given the shortage of nurses nationwide.

According to the American Nurses Association, there will be more registered nurse jobs available through 2022 than any other profession. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Projects $1.1 million additional nurses are needed to avoid a further shortage.

“The students get to really get some hands-on experience,” said Minnie Wood, the co-coordinator and clinical instructor for UNLV’s Nurse Camp.

Wood is one of the camp coordinators. She says UNLV’s nursing program hopes to help the shortage situation by now admitting 72 students, three times a year; that’s more than ever before.

“At the UNLV School of Nursing, our motto is, ‘nurse leaders begin here,’ and so we’re increasing our enrollment come fall…” said Wood.

“For us in Nevada, when we think about that nursing shortage, what we’re thinking about is beyond the Vegas valley, and looking out into the rural and the frontier areas,” said Tricia Gatlin, the associate dean of academic affairs at UNLV’s School of Nursing.

Thursday was day four of the five-day camp. UNLV says they hope to keep doing this every summer to grow the program for the future.

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