Association of Camp Nurses - ACN working for healthier camp communities by supporting the practice of camp nursing
Association of Camp Nurses

Camp Nursing Research Seed Grant Program

Do you ever have that inkling of an idea, that small voice saying “what if…?” or that irritant which can no longer be ignored? As camp nurses we are among the masters of improvisation, those creative with a bandaid and marker, those who tolerate extremes of heat and cold. Yet sometimes there is a question, a problem, or a new program that begs to be studied in some depth. This is camp nursing research.

Sometimes the data is in your hands already in the form of health center logs, incident or injury records, camper health forms, or budget dollars spent over a five-year period. Sometimes the data is enmeshed in the anecdotal comments from nurse-camper or nurse-administrator interactions and would be retrievable through interview or field notes. Sometimes the phenomenon in question -- self-management, resilience, self-esteem, or knowledge -- needs an actual measuring device, an instrument. Some instruments are available from the public domain (libraries, internet), others must be purchased, and still others must be investigator-designed. Then you may ask, “What difference does it make?” What are the implications of the findings for our practice in camp nursing? How can I get the information to other nurses who would like to know about the study and its findings?

All these tasks converge to become a camp nursing study. There are many, many clinical questions the camp nurse is prepared to ask and answer. So you have got your idea and plan, and you need a little seed money to get you started? ACN is initiating a Camp Nursing Seed Research Grant program to provide just that.


  • ACN’s Research Seed Grants accepts submissions twice a year; deadlines are March 15 and October 15.
  • Awards are announced within six weeks of the deadline date.
  • To submit a request, the researcher must be a nurse member of ACN; membership may be initiated at the time of grant submission.
  • The Association has allocated a total of $1000 per year for research. Individual requests for up to $500 will be considered.
  • Monies may be used to purchase questionnaires, for postage or copying costs, for educational materials, for specific supplies or other expenses of research. They should not be used for costs of presenting research or travel unless it is needed for the study itself.
  • Proposals should be sent electronically to The Research Committee includes BSN, MSN and PhD prepared camp nurses. This group will review proposals and make allocation decisions.
    A report of the study is required one year after the award and an abstract of the results will be published in CompassPoint and on ACN’s website.


  • The request should be submitted in the form of an MSWord document. You will receive an e-mail confirmation that the proposal has been received.
  • The proposal should include a title, abstract (200 words), purpose and clinical or research questions, background, methods, location and participants, provision for human subjects protection, budget, researcher and co-workers with licensure and credentials (RN, CRNP, etc.).
  • All identifying information of authors should be on the title page only.
  • The proposal should not exceed 5 pages, single-spaced in 12-point font.
  • Questionnaires or surveys should be attached (or mailed/faxed) but are not included in the 5-page limit.
  • Proposals should be in APA format with appropriate bibliography cited.


For individuals associated with academic or hospital institutions, documentation of approval by the applicable IRB is required.

For camp nurse researchers working in camps without such an affiliation, review of the study for assuring human subjects protection by a panel of three persons, including the camp director and at least one nurse not affiliated with the project, is required.

If the study uses children, the research should expose them to minimal risk, defined as “no more than minimal risk exists when the probability and magnitude of harm or discomfort is no greater than those encountered in everyday life.” In addition, questionnaires and surveys must consider sensitivity of any questions, privacy issues, and emotional distress in assessment of risk. Informed consent of parent and child may be needed. If necessary an informed consent document should be attached. Review of existing health center records or observations of public behaviors would not necessarily require consent. A form describing researcher protection of human subjects participating in the study (with applicable signatures) will be available from ACN’s website and should be submitted by regular mail at the time of the proposal.


Questions regarding the seed grant program and consultation regarding a research plan and its development should be addressed to: