- Draw a picture, collage or write a list that represents nursing, as you perceive it now. After the completion of this project, draw another picture, collage or write another list of how you have changed your views of the nursing profession.
- Learn about the many nursing specialties and what nurses do in these areas. Some areas would be ER, OR, CCU, NICU, UR, QA, CRNA, GI, hemodialysis, oncology, psychiatric, geriatric or pediatric.
- Find out about the special skills the nurses need. If possible, watch a nurse perform some of these skills. Some examples could be starting or adding to an IV, or feeding a patient through a feeding tube, giving an IM injection or performing a physical assessment.
- Home care nurses only have one patient at a time. Discuss with a nurse doing home care and find out why she chose this field of nursing. If possible, observe a nurse doing home care. Also find out what the Visiting Nurse Association is and does? What are the benefits to doing home care? Any downsides?
- Look at pictures of Florence Nightingale. How did nurses in her time dress? How do nurses dress today? Talk with one or more nurses and find out what he/she wears to work. Do nurses today still wear caps or uniforms? Why or why not? How is it different in nursing homes?
- Talk with a nurse in management, such as a Nursing Supervisor or Director of Nursing. Learn what her job involves. What aspects of her job are most satisfying? How did she/he progress to that position? What skills were needed?
- Visit a nursing home, hospital, clinic or health care facility. Contact the appropriate person to set up a visit. Ask to see the types of equipment and other technology used by nursing staff.
- Learn the basic skills a nurse performs for a patient, such as taking a patient's temperature, pulse check (radial and apical), observing respirations, how to take blood pressure and perform a basic routine assessment.
- What is an AED? Learn when and why a nurse would use it. Watch a nurse demonstrate on a mannequin the use of an AED.
- If you are old enough (currently 16 in New Jersey), take a 2 hour Red Cross Course to learn to use an AED.
- Learn about the needs of a hospital, clinic, or health care facility and complete a service project for them. Some things that you might do include a toy or book drive. Volunteer as an activity aide or "candy striper."
- Many patients at nursing homes seldom have visitors. Plan to do one or more projects for nursing home patients. This could include a visit to talk with patient, providing a craft for patients, or a sing-along. Simply sending cards can brighten their day. Find out what some specific needs may be.
- Talk with Daisy/Brownie troops in your town/Service Unit about nursing home patients wanting to see and hear from children. Ask the troops to write and/or send cards, pictures to the patients in a local nursing home. If possible, have the troop adopt one or more patients and write to them. Remind them that patients like mail every week, not just on special holidays.
- Find out what other organizations provide service and companionship for hospital or convalescent home residents, i.e. pet therapy, art therapy, clubs, etc. and how they benefit the residents.
- Interview a nurse who has been in the profession for at least 5 years. What challenges have they faced while pursing their education and career in health care? How has it changed within the past 50 years? Learn five advantages and/or disadvantages of becoming a nurse.
- 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).
- Look in newspapers and nursing journals for advertisements for nurses. What salaries are advertised? Are any bonuses being offered? What kind of hours/shifts can nurses work?
- Nurses work in many varied facilities. Spend several hours with a nurse to see what she does. This could be an office or school nurse in a hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation or home setting. Nurses also work for pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies.
- Find out about the different organizations that nurses can belong to, such as the NLN, or on a state of job specific level. What journals or periodicals can nurses subscribe to?