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Council's Own Awards: Cadette/Senior Interest Projects


nursing IP


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Nursing Exploration

To earn this Interest Project Award, you must do two Skill Builders, one Technology, one Service Project, one Career requirement and two additional ones from any area. Girls and Troops from other councils are welcome to use these requirements and purchase the patch online

The aging of America’s baby boomers and the increased demand for nurses in specialized areas of care have combined to create a serious shortage of nurses. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services predicts a shortfall of 635,000 to 1,754,000 nurses by 2020. The result is that the future for nurses has never looked brighter!

Nursing is a profession that involves the use of your intelligence, skills, compassion and love of helping people to make a difference in people’s lives. Completing this badge will increase your knowledge of the variety of career opportunities available in nursing and will increase your awareness of the growing need for nurses. Books, magazines, videos, Internet sites, nursing professionals, nursing schools and nursing organizations are available as resources for this project.

Skill Builders:


Read about the history of nursing. What influences did Clara Barton and Florence Nightingale have on nursing? Share what you learned with younger girls through a skit, display in a public place, story tape, puppet show or other means.


Find out what the following terms mean and discuss with the members of your troop/group: malpractice; universal precautions; ethics; artificial means of life support; stem cell research; cloning; euthanasia; parent notification of pregnancy, birth control given to teens and/or abortion. Think about what these things mean in terms of patient care. Participate in a debate or a discussion that examines differing points of view on one or more of these issues.


Look at some of the major health issues facing teens today. Select an issue that interests you and do some research on it. How are health care professionals addressing this issue? What organizations are involved with education on or providing support for this issue? (suggestions – Juvenile diabetes; ADHD; AIDS, Bulemia; Depression; Anorexia; STD’s; Obesity, Domestic Violence).


Earn your First Aid and CPR certification (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)


Explore your family’s health history. Include aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Document their age, place of birth, medical conditions or illnesses and occupation. Do you see any patterns in your family’s medical history? Create a genogram. (research genogram on the internet to see how it’s done.)


Investigate practices of alternative medicine, (i.e. Herbal medicine, acupuncture, Reiki, creative imagery, acupressure, reflexology, aromatherapy). Compare them to Western medicine. How do they interact? Which method would you prefer for your own family?


Find out about the different nursing specialties, where nursed work and what nurses do in these areas. Some areas would be Hospital work – ER, OR, CCU, NICU, UR, QA, CRNA, hemodialysis, oncology, psychiatric, geriatric or pediatric – doctor’s office work, Nursing Home, School Nurse, Home Health, Hospice, College professor or any area not listed that you are particularly interested in. Find out the educational requirements for the different types of work areas. Learn the difference between RN, LPN and CRNP.


Learn from a health care professional some of the basic skills a nurse may perform for a patient (i.e. temperature, pulse, respirations, blood pressure).


Find out what these tests are for and how they are different: MRI, MRA, CAT Scan, X-Rays, EKG, EEG, EMG, and PET Scan.


Learn about some of the equipment nurses use (i.e. computers, pulse oximeters, dopplers, blood pressure cuff, IV pumps, Pyxis, monitors). Be able to explain what each piece of equipment does and how it they are used.


Research and investigate what types of equipment a nurse would use for a specific condition (i.e. asthma, heart condition, labor, broken bones).


Learn about the following and why each is important to your health as a young woman: Mammogram, Pap Smear, Ultra Sound, CBC, STD Check, Urinalysis and UHCG.


Visit a nursing home, hospital, doctor’s office, clinic or home health facility. Contact the appropriate person to set up a visit. Ask to see the types of equipment used by the nursing staff and find out the qualifications for using each piece of equipment.


Learn about new technology in nursing and emergency response teams. Visit a school of nursing to view human simulators and other technology in learning labs.

Service Projects:

Investigate the community health projects in your area (i.e. Breast Cancer Awareness Campaigns, Multiple Sclerosis Walk, Blood Drives, Juvenile Diabetes, March of Dimes, Relay for Life, etc). Learn about their causes, then choose one to volunteer for. Help with registration, packing “goody bags” to hand out the day of the race, pass out water at a walk, recruit people to give blood, make signs or posters advertising the event, etc. Remember, you cannot raise money (see Safety-Wise).


Volunteer in a health care facility, nursing home, clinic, hospital or doctor’s office. Keep a journal of your experiences while volunteering and then share something about your experiences with a younger troop or another group.


Find out what other organizations provide service and companionship for hospital or convalescent home residents, i.e. pet therapy, art therapy, clubs, etc. Find out how they benefit the residents. Find out what those organizations need to provide these services and organize a service project for them, i.e. contact all the troops in your service unit or council and ask each troop to donate a bag of dog food or cat food; collect art supplies, get troops to donate holiday cards, fruit, or other gifts needed by these organizations. Be sure to get the project approved by the organization BEFORE you solicit help or items.


During Nurses Week (the first week of May) show how much nurses are needed and appreciated by making and displaying posters about the benefits of becoming a nurse. Make and deliver or mail cards to nurses at your local hospital, clinic, hospice program or nursing home to thank them for what they do to make people’s lives better.


Create information on health promotion or safety. Design a poster, storyboard or videotape depicting the importance of healthy behaviors – not smoking, weight control, immunizations, proper hand-washing, seat-belt use, or helmet-use or conduct an activity at school, in you community or in your service unit that emphasizes health promotion or safety, such as a bike rodeo.

Career Exploration:

Interview a nurse who has less than five years experience and one with more than five years experience. Keep a journal of how they answer your questions and compare the answers. What are the benefits to becoming a nurse? Did they face any challenges while pursuing their education? Has nursing changed since they began their career? If they could go back in time, would they still become a nurse? Why or why not?


Compare the educational requirements for LPN, RN BSN, MSN and NP. Learn how a nurse can progress from one level to another. Do nurses need to have continuing education (CEU’s) to maintain their licensure? What do nurses have to do to begin practicing legally? Are there different requirements for employment in different states? Find out about the Division of Consumer Affairs (under which all nurses licenses are registered). Identify 2 colleges in your area that offer a nursing program. What high school prerequisites are needed to get into the program?


Look in newspapers and nursing journals for advertisements for nurses. What salaries are advertised? Are any bonuses being offered? What kind of hours/shifts are available? Do nurses who work in hospitals make more or less than nurses who work in clinics or a doctor’s office?


If direct observation of a nurse is not possible or age appropriate due to patient privacy, contact a local hospital, doctor’s office or health clinic for a tour and observation when patients aren’t with the nurse or have a nurse speak to your group or interview a nurse that you know. Answer the following questions:
a. What roles does the nurse perform?
b. How does the nurse incorporate science and math into his or her roles?
c. What kind of leadership, organizational, or decision-making skills does the nurse use in his or her position?
d. Would you want to work as a nurse? Why or why not?


Talk with a nurse in management, such as a Nursing Supervisor or Director of Nursing. Learn what her/his job involves and how it is different from a “regular” nurse. What aspects of her/his job are most satisfying? How did she/he progress to that position? What skills are needed for this job?


Research nursing scholarships – Investigate scholarships available for students interested in attending Nursing School. What are the requirements? Who’s eligible? Are there more scholarships offered for specialized areas of study? Do scholarships differ depending on the type of degree you are seeking or the type of school you attend? Document your findings.

Web sites to check out:



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