May 7th is National School Nurse Day. It is a time to celebrate the specialty practice of school nursing. This celebration, sponsored by the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) applauds the contributions school nurses make every day to improve the safety, health, and academic success of all students.
The theme for this year’s celebration is, “The School Nurse: Caring for Others. Caring for Ourselves.” These words are reflective of the significant roles school nurses have in the healthcare in their school communities, as well as in modeling health and resiliency. Healthy children learn better, and school nurses work to remove barriers to learning. Nearly 200 school nurses in DoDEA schools around the world join with the more than 73,000 school nurses in the United States to help students meet new challenges they face today and work to support education and advance student health. Health, healthy lifestyles and graduation are the goals.
National School Nurse Day has been set aside since 1972 to recognize school nurses. This observance was established to foster a better understanding of the role of school nurses in the educational setting. National School Nurse Day is celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurse Week and National Nurse Week is always May 6th through May 12th.
The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) is a non-profit specialty nursing organization, first organized in 1968 and incorporated in 1977, representing school nurses exclusively. NASN has more than 15,000 members and 50 affiliates, including the District of Columbia and overseas school nurses. The NASN mission is, “To advance school nurse practice to keep students healthy, safe and ready to learn.”
Jody Richmond form Kaiserslautern High School is the OSHNA School Nurse of the Year.
Jody has been a School Nurse since August 2003 and works at Kaiserslautern High School on Vogelweh, a U.S. army base in the Kaiserslautern military community. She is the Lead Nurse and Lead ASPEN Health Module Trainer for the Kaiserslautern District as well as Initial ASPEN Health Module Development Team Member. She has held multiple OSHNA Board positions over the past 10 years to include President. Jody is active on the School Home Community Partnership Committee, a member of the School Improvement Leadership Team and active member of both the Child Study Committee and the Student Support Team. She was the chief developer and serves as current chairperson for the School Based Health Care Team - the first school teen clinic established in Europe. She was instrumental in the proposal and establishment of a school based teen Mental Health Clinic. She teaches the Health Science-CNA partnership program between Ramstein High School and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.
In Jody's own words, "...school nurses have many hats, juggle many balls, and carry huge heavy loads. They are the basic resource persons for health and wellness within their community. We are the 'go to people.' We can make things happen. It is with that focus in mind, that I start each day...the reason I have worked so hard to provide our community and high school with the resources that students, parents, families and staff need for their overall health and welfare. I know each day will bring something new, something challenging, something mind boggling. Whichever it is, I know if I keep the student at the center of the issue, the goal can be reached."
Additional resources to help your school honor school nurses can be found at: NASN Website