Wednesday, May 10th is National School Nurse Day - a time DoDEA joins the nation to celebrate the specialized practice of school nursing. This celebration recognizes the contributions school nurses make every day to improve the safety, health, and academic success of all students.
School nurses are the very heartbeat of DoDEA schools. They stand ready to help every child all day, every day. They serve a pivotal role that bridges health care and education that is critical to student achievement. Grounded by standards of practice, the services provided by the school nurse include leadership, community/public health, care coordination, and quality improvement.
The number of students with complex physical and mental health conditions, along with the number of students at risk for health concerns, and students who are affected by societal issues, such as living in poverty, necessitates school nurses to use critical thinking and provide highly skilled, evidence-based practice that meet the needs of students, families and school communities.
Additional resources to help your school honor school nurses can be found at: NASN Website
Julia Sprankle has been selected as the Overseas School Health Nurses Association (OSHNA) school nurse of the year. Ms. Sprankle is employed by the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) and works with U.S. military connected middle and high school students at Wiesbaden High School.
Julia, known as “Nurse Sprankle” or even “Coach Sprankle” has a philosophy that sits heavily in the heart of personalized and compassionate patient care. Julia currently serves as the Weisbaden High School Nurse on a United States military installation in Wiesbaden, Germany. Prior to that she worked in labor and delivery and a cardiac stepdown unit. She received her BSN from the University of Akron graduating Cum Laude. Her master’s in nursing education is from Aspen University where she was able to continue research from her degree related to HIV. The educational material developed for her capstone project is still being utilized by the hospital today.
When Julia took on the role of a School Nurse she obtained a second maters in secondary education with an emphasis in STEM. This led to a goal of being certified to offer a pharmacy technician curriculum for her students affording them a certification upon graduation. Julia is also very active in her school other ways as the girls’ volleyball coach, Red Cross Club sponsor, junior class sponsor, 504 coordinator, and Red Cross CPR instructor. Being active in her professional organization is important as well since she currently holds an OSHNA board position as the Technology Chair.
Julia’s work and accomplishments are firmly rooted in nursing philosophy: individualized and compassionate, patient-centered care. She hopes the work she has provided as a School Nurse and the patients she has cared for have felt this. It is apparent her dedication in working with secondary students at Wiesbaden High School will have a positive impact not only on her students in general, but on future generations of health care professionals.
These are just a few highlights of why Julia Sprankle has been selected as OSHNA’s school nurse of the year.