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  1. Drenkard, Karen MSN, RN, CNAA
  2. Swartwout, Ellen MSN, RN, CNA
  3. Hill, Stephanie MSN, RN


Improving the image of nursing and finding ways to encourage young people to enter the nursing field are two areas that need attention from nurse executives. That concept was turned into reality with Inova Nursing Exploration Summer Camp 2001, a camp for seventh and eighth graders who are exploring their interest in nursing careers. The camp was a unique partnership among a county public school system, a local university, and an integrated healthcare system. The program, developed by the system nurses in consultation with middle school educators, introduced students to the nursing profession via demonstrations, site visits at multiple hospitals, role-playing, discussions, and a trip to the local nursing school to experience life as a nursing student. The authors discuss the planning, implementation, and outcome of this unique summer camp.