Millikin Hosts First Nursing Boot Camp for Next Generation of Aspiring Nurses

The three-day camp gave the campers a window into the college nursing experience.

Nursing Bootcamp

DECATUR, Ill. – Aspiring nursing students from across Illinois headed to Millikin University for the University’s first Nursing Boot Camp hosted by School of Nursing faculty from June 11-13, 2023. 

The campers had a jam-packed schedule over the three days, featuring hands-on nursing instruction and exciting events, including a visit from the service dogs of Decatur’s PawPrint Ministries and an evening ghost tour around Millikin’s campus. 

“We had a full roster of 25 high-school students that were interested in attending. The students are enthusiastic, paid attention and got involved,” Assistant Nursing Professor Pam Laskowski said. “Our campers were spread out across the state. We had several kids from Decatur and two from Missouri and the Chicago area. We also had some from down south, so it is a nice broad mix of students from across Illinois.”

Nursing Bootcamp
Millikin Nursing faculty lead the 2023 Nursing Boot Camp. 

During the Boot Camp, students learned more about nursing skills and the roles and responsibilities of being a professional nurse. Students also took part in patient simulations, attended a first aid course and got a look at what it is like to be a Millikin Nursing student. 

Zoe Zic, who is entering her senior year of high school in the fall, made the trip from Manhattan, Ill., to attend the Boot Camp. 

“I found out about the Boot Camp during a Millikin Zoom meeting about the Nursing program,” Zoe said. “When I was in seventh grade, I started to get interested in nursing, and I plan to be a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).”

The trip was Zoe’s first time on Millikin’s campus and she is considering applying to attend as she makes her college plans. 

Nursing Bootcamp
Nursing Boot Camp students learn how to take a patient's vitals. 

“I have thought about coming to Millikin and I’ve made a couple of friends here at the camp,” Zoe said. “I think Millikin has a really nice campus and I love the architecture with the brick buildings. I like how small the campus is.” 

Zoe enjoyed learning how to change a hospital bed’s sheets while it is occupied in Millikin’s Nursing Simulation Lab and also learned the best techniques for recording patients’ vital signs. 

“I had thought to make the bed you would have to take the patient out, but since some people can’t get out, we learned how to do that,” Zoe said. “I like all the hands-on things we have gotten to do. That is the big thing for me.”

Millikin Nursing Graduate School Rankings

Millikin University has been included in U.S. News & World Report’s 2023-2024 Best Graduate Schools national list, released on April 25, for its Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs. 

Millikin University's MSN program was listed among the 184 top Master's Nursing programs nationally and was ranked ninth among all schools in Illinois.

Millikin University's DNP program was listed among the 169 top DNP Nursing programs nationally and was ranked seventh among all schools in Illinois.

Campbell Family Nursing Simulation Lab

Continuing Millikin’s reputation of first-class nursing education, Millikin has begun a three-phase project to enhance and modernize the School of Nursing facilities and technology. Recently, Millikin received a significant gift for the project from former Nursing Student Susan Campbell and the new lab will be named the Campbell Family Nursing Simulation Lab. Additionally, Millikin has received a $2 million federal grant to construct the state-of-the-art simulation lab, including four simulation rooms, supporting control rooms, two debriefing rooms, a health assessment lab and several faculty offices.