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Kitty DeGree School of Nursing hosts second annual boot camp for high school students

Published June 15, 2023

Nursing bootcamp

MONROE, LA – The Kitty DeGree School of Nursing at the University of Louisiana Monroe recently hosted its second annual nursing boot camp for high school students from June 6-9, 2023. The camp hosted 51 campers from all over the state.  

Throughout the four-day camp, campers were introduced to a wide range of nursing skills, including taking vital signs, caring for different types of patients, starting an IV, and even a simulated surgical environment.  

“When we participate in recruitment events, we find that there are many high school students who have the desire to pursue a career where they can help people,” said Dr. Kathy Kennedy, Associate Director of Graduate Nursing at ULM. “What they haven’t explored yet is the vast opportunities that are available in a career in nursing,” she added.  

Kennedy said the nursing boot camp gives high school students the opportunity to learn about nursing specialties such as emergency, maternity, pediatrics, surgical, ICU, medical, cardiac, mental health, neonatal, and more. “We have a great representation of faculty volunteers from each of the specialties that share stories and assist in camp activities,” said Kennedy.  

On Friday, June 9, the group of campers had the opportunity to participate in an Emergency Disaster Drill alongside Louisiana Emergency Response Network, ULM Police, Monroe Fire Department, and Acadian Ambulance Service.  

The drill featured a simulated vehicle crash involving a City of Monroe bus and car. ULM staff and nursing students participated as “victims” in the drill and were assessed and triaged by the student campers. The drill also served as a joint training opportunity for local first responders. Campers were able to witness an emergency vehicle extraction performed by the Monroe Fire Department. The vehicle was provided by Bear’s Towing and Recovery.  

According to ULM Assistant Professor of Nursing Amy Kincannon, “Disaster training for individual entities is imperative, however, participating in emergency drills with multiple entities has been proven to increase proficiency during actual emergency disasters. This sort of drill makes our local emergency response community more prepared to handle real disasters. We also hope that it perked these high schoolers' interest in joining our career fields.” 

Kennedy said the camp grew in its second year by providing on-campus housing for participants so that students from outside the area could attend. She added that sponsorships are available for student tuition and the purchase of medical supplies, while several hospitals donated expired medical supplies to help keep camp costs low. “Each year, we include more community partner presence to improve participant knowledge of potential employment opportunities,” said Kennedy.  

The Kitty DeGree School of Nursing Boot Camp is open to high school students who have completed 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade and are at least 14 years old.  

For more information about the Nursing Boot Camp, visit ulm.edu/nursing/bootcamp.