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BVHS to Hold Future Nurse Camp


Blanchard Valley Health System will hold a Future Nurse Camp this summer to give interested high school students a look behind the scenes.

Future Nurse Camp will occur from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 15, 16, and 17. Lunch is provided. Youths must commit to all three days. The camp is open to students who will be juniors or seniors this fall.

Michael Cifranic, MSN, RN, nursing recruitment and retention specialist for BVHS, said the camp is intended to give young people interested in nursing a chance to shadow a nurse and see what the profession involves.

“Our goal is to make these high schoolers feel comfortable in the hospital, which can be a confusing environment at first glance,” Cifranic said. “They’ll also build relationships with mentors, so if they do want to learn more about nursing, they will be able to reach out and ask questions after camp has ended.”

Activities will include education in basic nursing skills, an escape room with puzzles related to nursing and quality care, a CPR course, and a tour of the Simulation & Innovation Center at Blanchard Valley Hospital.

Interns at BVHS, now in nursing school themselves, will speak to participants about what to expect in nursing school and how BVHS is helping them transition into a nursing career.

“The students will also hear from current BVHS nurses who are passionate about their careers,” said Erin Hastings, RN, chair of Nursing Congress. “They’ll talk about their ‘why’ and explain what fuels their flame for being a nurse. We’re hoping this inspires the students.”

Both Cifranic and Hastings were drawn to nursing for personal reasons.

“My grandfather was sick throughout his life,” Hastings said. “I would see him in the hospital, looking miserable, and then his nurses would cheer him up and help him to become himself again. Seeing the difference, they made to someone I loved made me want to become a nurse myself.”

She still finds it rewarding after more than a decade in the field. Recently, rounding on floors at Blanchard Valley Hospital, she encountered a patient she had met a year and a half earlier, in another nursing role. He recognized her and reminded her how she’d cheered him during a stressful procedure.

“You don’t realize in the moment what an impact it can make,” Hastings said.

When Cifranic was a student, his father was in the hospital with a serious illness. A nurse named Cliff played a significant role in Cifranic’s father surviving a critical 24 hours. Cliff was a reassuring presence and helped explain what was going on to the family.

Cifranic, who had planned to go to medical school, knew immediately he needed to change his major to nursing.

Years later, Cifranic’s father passed away, and his mother remarried. His stepfather needed emergency bypass surgery at the same hospital. The nurse caring for him was Cliff.

“You did it,” Cliff said immediately upon seeing Cifranic. “You got your blues.”

“Nursing isn’t just about passing out medication – it’s about making a connection,” Cifranic said. “Even on difficult days, that one patient who looks at you and says, ‘Thank you’ makes it all worthwhile.”

At the same time, the career has its stresses and challenges, he said.

“After the pandemic, many people are questioning whether they want to go into healthcare,” Cifranic said. “We are working to relight that fire and that passion. We want young people to realize that nursing can be challenging but incredibly rewarding and can be a great career.”

Nationwide, there is a greater emphasis on career shadowing and real-life experience earlier on, so students have a better sense of whether they want to do so before they commit time and money to college.

“Given the close relationship BVHS has with the community, we wanted to create an opportunity like this locally,” Cifranic said.

“We want the high school students to experience that ‘wow’ moment,” Hastings said. “This camp will allow them to do things they otherwise wouldn’t do before nursing school. And the nurses at BVHS are so passionate about what they do and so committed to teamwork that I know they will be a real inspiration.”

Students at Future Nurse Camp will get a certificate of completion they can present when applying to colleges.

The camp is free of charge to students. However, space is limited. To register, please visit

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