Camp BONES (Brigade of Nurse Exploring Seahawks) is a four-year nursing and health academy for underserved and underrepresented middle and high school students, recruited from eight counties in the southeastern NC region. Pictures and media highlights are available from the links below.
The goals of the academy are: (a) to address the looming shortage of nurses in North Carolina, (b) to encourage racial/ethnic minorities and males, both of whom have been traditionally underrepresented in nursing and health science professions, to pursue careers in nursing or other health sciences, (c) to expose participating students to an intensive four-year nursing and health science academy including math, chemistry, biology, anatomy, and other natural sciences courses to prepare them for admission into a college or university, (d) to partner with a Winston-Salem State University (WSSU), School of Health Sciences, Division of Nursing to replicate the Camp BONES model in Forsyth and surrounding counties
Student cohorts enter the academy in the 8th or 9th grade and continue through the 12th grade. Students selected must have a B average and a recommendation from an appropriate school official. The students must also have expressed an interest in a nursing or health sciences career. The small well-defined cohorts are engaged in an intense, rigorous educational curriculum, making them academically competitive for admission to nursing and health science programs.
Students have gained skills in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid, disaster preparedness, health research, oral and written communications, poster presentations, clinical simulation, vital signs, Scholastic Aptitude Testing and college preparation, advanced science and math, and media presentations. In the fourth summer of the program, students also completed an intensive three-week, NC state-approved, Nursing Assistant I course.
Since 2006, Camp BONES has been supported by a number of organizations including: UNCW School of Nursing, Southeast Area Health Education Center (formerly Coastal AHEC), New Hanover Regional Medical Center, the NC GlaxoSmithKline and Burroughs Wellcome Foundations (2007-2011), and a host of community volunteers and agencies in the southeast NC region. We are particularly grateful for the parents, families, and public school teachers and guidance counselors who referred students and encouraged their participation during summer and weekend intensives.
Program outcomes (sample):
- 70 students (six cohorts) have participated in the program in the summers and during weekend intensives in 2006 through 2011, representing Brunswick, Bladen, Columbus, Duplin, New Hanover, Pender, and Sampson counties.
- UNCW SON faculty and staff published a training manual in 2008, “University-community partnership to prepare underserved and underrepresented youth for careers in nursing and health sciences,” for dissemination to other universities, faculty, and community partners that can used as a template for program expansion.
- UNCW partnered with Winston-Salem State University to disseminate the program in the NC Piedmont region.
- 27 students completed the Winston-Salem State University Camp YEHS! (Youth Exploring Health Sciences) Program, modeled after Camp B.O.N.E.S. in 2009 and 2010. The program is ongoing.
- Students were exposed to or interacted with nearly 30 different nursing specialties between 2006 and 2011.
- 24 students from cohorts 2006, 2007, and 2008 completed an 80-hour NC approved Nurse Aid I program.
- 20 students from the first three cohorts have completed high school and are attending 2 or 4-year colleges.
- All students delivered one or more health education/promotion programs to students in their peer group; 20 different health promotion topics were presented to diverse groups, including: attendees at youth health summits.
- Students not enrolled in college attend middle or high school, work full or part-time, engaged in community service, and involved in many extracurricular activities. Many have received honors and awards for achievements.
- More than 30 print, online, and television/radio media reports highlighting Camp BONES or Camp YEHS!
Dr. Janie Canty-Mitchell, PhD, RN, Professor
Associate Director for Research and Sponsored Programs
Pictures of Camp Bones Students and Events