Nurse Symposium 2020

The School of Nursing held a virtual Nursing Symposium last week in lieu of the annual summer Nurse Camp. More than 30 students from high schools across the regions attend the weeklong event and engaged in different sessions  on such topics as: 

  • self-care 
  • social determinants of health and health disparities 
  • how to properly put on personal protective equipment (PPE)  
  • the importance of communication as a nurse 
  • meeting nursing students and exposing them to the different degree options  
  • how to apply for college and nursing programs 
  • careers in the nursing field 

Nurse Camp is usually held in person and on the University of Washington campus but, due to COVID-19 and to ensure the safety of our campers, staff and students, it was held virtually as a Nursing Symposium. 

“I am proud this is the 12th year we’ve held Nurse Camp, pivoting in response to the challenges presented by Covid-19 and calling it the Nursing Summer Symposium,” said Azita Emami, Ph.D., M.S.N., R.N.T., R.N., F.A.A.N., executive dean and the Robert G. and Jean A. Reid Endowed Dean, of the UW School of Nursing. “For more than a decade, this event has inspired high school students. Many who attend Nurse Camp come to understand what it really means to be part of a respected profession that has an impacts people’s lives,” she said. 

The symposium provides opportunities for focused discussions and mentoring for campers. Current School of Nursing students, both BSNs and DNPs, volunteered to mentor campers and run the symposium. 

The goal of Nurse Camp is to provide a hands-on experience for high school students to learn more about the nursing profession. This year, we were challenged with having to pivot and plan something online, but still be effective and done wellThe nursing students did an amazing job planning to ensure our campers had a great, meaningful experience,” said Cher Espina, Director of Admissions and Student Diversity  

This year’s Nurse Symposium may have been different than past years, but still campers said they learned a lot and still found it beneficial. Here are a few quotes from campers: 

“I never in my life would have thought that this amazing opportunity could have happened. The nursing symposium brought so much information to me that I never would have learned about, like the huge variety of careers in nursing. Being Mexican, I know how ethnicity, race, religion, sexuality, and economic status can greatly affect your access to proper healthcare, which is why a medical career is one of the best things I can do to help my community while also doing something I enjoy. Getting accepted into the symposium not only was informative, but also gave me a team of people that can support my aspirations, which is something truly amazing. I’m forever grateful that I was given this opportunity and cannot thank the UW School of Nursing enough for giving me a chance. GO DAWGS!” said Lizbeth Rojas, junior. 

“Although the UW Nurse Camp was only a week long, I was able to gain so much invaluable information and knowledge from real professionals who are going through the experiences of studying to be a nurse. I learned so much about the real life of a nurse and what is important in the profession. This camp definitely made me more likely to pursue a career of nursing. Overall, I enjoyed and greatly benefitted from the mix of educational lessons and the chance to hear about nursing from real students I wish that this camp was longer so I could have learned and listened to even more, said Rohinee Mattikallisophomore. 

“Attending the Nursing Summer Symposium has been an educational and eye-opening experience. Prior to the symposium, I had a fixed idea of what the profession of nursing involved. Not only did I realize that nursing has endless opportunities and jobs, I also came across interests that I didn’t think of before such as Public Health and Labor and Delivery. I’ve also met amazing mentors and nurses that gave me more confidence in wanting to be a nurse,” said Luis Ayala-Martinez, junior.