CCE Theses and Dissertations


Using The Internet to Build Community and Provide Clinical Practice Guidelines for Camp Nurses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Getrude W. Abramson

Committee Member

Gerorge K. Fornshell

Committee Member

Marlyn Kemper Littman


Approximately 10,000 camps are currently in operation in the United States, and an estimated 9 million youth attend camps annually. Each accredited camp is required to have a healthcare provider on the property when campers are present, and this provider is most often a registered nurse. Most nurses are unfamiliar with the outdoor milieu and must learn to adapt clinical skills and patient care to the camp setting. Camp nurses cannot rely on traditional medical equipment and supplies; they must use their own skills, clinical knowledge, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities to make independent decisions and nursing interventions. The many changes in healthcare and nursing in recent years have caused nursing professionals to realize that continuing education is necessary to insure professional advancement, and to keep current with the latest nursing research findings. The need for flexibility in the delivery of nursing education has been identified by various initiatives, and there is considerable pressure from professional nursing organizations, schools of nursing, and individual nurses to establish educational courses that are accessible and relevant. Nursing education is increasingly challenged to convert traditional course offerings to distance delivery, and courses in specialty nursing areas are in great demand.

This research study focused on the collection of data in order to design, implement, and evaluate a Web-based course for camp nurses. The goals of this study were to increase the camp nursing knowledge base, optimize the visibility of camp nursing research, establish a repository of research resources and information related to best camp nursing practices, stimulate camp nurses to create communication and support networks, create more opportunities for collaboration between camp nurses and camping organizations, promote an environment of continuous quality improvement in the camp health center, and deliver self-directed educational programs that prepare healthcare professionals to assume the camp nursing role. Since there are currently no educational programs available for camp nurses, a Web-based course for camp nurses would fill an educational void for this nursing population.

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