Nursing Boot Camp Teaches High School Students About the Profession

By Briana Vannozzi

There’s no push-up requirement here, but this boot camp is just as rigorous. Fifteen high school juniors are scrubbing in for a week of nursing boot camp.

“I think the biggest impact it has on them is they understand what a nurse is, and what all that we do, and that there’s so much more than they realized,” said Kim Seaman, professor at JFK Muhlenberg Snyder School of Nursing.

The JFK Muhlenberg Snyder School of Nursing started the free course six years ago. Since then more than 100 students have circulated through, all from the Plainfield and Edison area.

“It gives me an exposure to nursing and learn more about it. Do some hands on stuff that give me the opportunity to know how much I’m able to handle,” said Edison High School rising senior Mehrina Tabassum.

According to the American Nurses Association, there’s a growing need for skilled nurses. RNs are listed among the top occupations for job growth through 2022. It estimated 1 million nursing positions are needed by that year.

“Part of the reason is nurses are retiring, part of it is the aging of our population will now be at the age where baby boomers will need that nursing care,” Seaman said.

Students get history lessons, talk current events, like the Zika virus. They even get hands-on experience learning different physical therapies.

“They tour the hospitals, they go into some areas of the hospitals, blood pressure, CPR, some technical things of nursing and some aspects of the imaging schools also,” said Judith Mathews, dean of the School of Nursing and Imaging.

So how do they know the program is successful? Former campers are currently enrolled in NYU, Seton Hall, Rutgers and JFK’s schools of nursing.

“This is definitely swaying me because I was basically wanting to be in business originally, but seeing how, you know, helping people and impacting lives is a big accomplishment, so I will  want to be definitely in health care,” said Plainfield High School rising senior Tyric Long.

“It gives you more experience before going into nursing. You have kind of an idea of what nursing is, its background, its history, what they do, you know? And it makes my choices for college easier to know what I’m going to do,” Tabassum said.

Students are finding their way to careers. Health care systems are finding the nurses they need.

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