School Nursing

The Relentless School Nurse: Dr. Beth Jameson Challenges School Nurses to be #ResourceSponges

Beth Jameson, Ph.D., RN, NJ-CSN is a Nurse Scientist with a newly minted Ph.D. from Rutgers University. I was fortunate to meet Beth when she was in the midst of her dissertation research, which included interviewing school nurses about job satisfaction. I will never forget our intense and honest discussion when I shared my frustration with feeling like a “caged bird” at school.  In fact, it was so eye-opening that I wrote a blog post called “The Tale of the Caged Bird.”

Beth and I bonded over that conversation and since then have collaborated on several school nursing projects through the New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing (NJCCN). When she defended her dissertation, I cheered for her hard-earned accomplishment. In fact, it was through Beth’s work that I first heard the term, Nurse-Scientist.

We both attended a recent NJCCN culminating event that spotlighted the work of NJ school nurses in their home communities. It was a powerful day for sharing community-based initiatives that are happening throughout the Garden State! One speaker in particular resonated with this ultimate research scientist, and now Dr. Jameson is challenging school nurses to be life-long #ResourceSponges! Read her message below:

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“Last weekend I attended the New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing’s “School Health Leadership Showcase: Linkages That Drive Outcomes and Solutions.” The keynote speaker was Ms. Shondelle C. Wills-Bryce, Administrator, New Jersey Department of Children and Families. Ms. Wills-Bryce stated “we” (meaning anyone who has a professional role that involves children, adolescents, and young adults) should be “life-long resource sponges.” As I listened to her name several agencies and resources to the packed audience, it was clear that some individuals were not familiar with resources available on traditional or classic state or federal government websites. This led me to believe that even the most seasoned professional can benefit from learning about old and new resources, websites and educational/instructional materials.

Therefore, I would like to shamelessly borrow Ms. Wills-Bryce’s phrase and put forth this hashtag: #ResourceSponge. I envision this hashtag to be a location where school-based professionals (school nurses, school psychologists, guidance counselors, administrators, teachers, etc.) who wish to add a resource, or search for resources related to the physical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing of children. I want to encourage and inspire you to become a “life-long resource sponge.”  

Five Factors That Should Drive You to be a #ResourceSponge:

  1. Updates: Some of us may have a list of “tried and true” resources. However, research and technology change so quickly in our current environment. We may need to look at those resources again to be sure we are up to date on the information we are giving to our students, families, and communities. In addition, we need to use evidence-based practice guidelines to inform our practice and guide our use of websites and resources.
  2. Subscribe to News and Communications: Many websites and resources have newsletters, alerts, RSS feeds, podcasts, etc. If you work in a role where policies, practices, procedures change frequently, you should register for these communications.
  3. Time: We are all crunched for time. What better way to stay up to date with the newest and latest new resources and materials than checking #ResourceSponge.
  4. You Never Know: Not all websites and resources are applicable to the age of the children in your school building. However, you never know when you may need a resource for a circumstance or event that you do not consider typical for your students or school community. For example, resources for a parent who is seeking help and guidance regarding substance abuse.
  5. Professional Leadership: Last, but not least, leadership in your profession is guided by your individual specialty’s scope and standards of practice. All school-based professionals have the same goal: advancing the well-being, academic success, and lifelong achievement and health of students. Be a professional leader – one who is competent, knowledgeable, and advocates for your students, their families, and the school community.

Inaugural List of #ResourceSponge

To kick off our list of #ResourceSponge resources, these resources listed below are a quick list of “must-have” resources that were highlighted at the NJCCN Leadership Showcase.

  1. Sign up for DCF emails/alerts: – go to the contact us page tab and then go to “join our mailing list” at the bottom of the list. Sign up.
  2. Sign up for alerts and mailings: scroll to the bottom where you see the icons for Facebook, Twitter, etc. Next to that is the sign up for email updates.
  3. 2nd Floor –  NJ Youth Helpline.
  4. TLC –  Traumatic Loss Coalitions for youth, see also
  5. 180 saving lives – Domestic violence, help for children and families. 29% of domestic violence events are witnessed by children.
  6. FCP/DOW community directory – click on your county – also find school-linked services. For example – here’s the link for Somerset County:
  7. NJ Connect – addiction services adults and children.
  8. NAMI – National Alliance on Mental Illness.
  9. Help end the stigma of mental illness social media – #BeTheDifference and #EndTheStigma.” – Beth Jameson, Ph.D., RN, NJ-CSN

BIO:  Dr. Beth E. Jameson has been passionate about community health nursing and addressing the needs of vulnerable children throughout her nursing career. Prior to moving to New Jersey, she was the Nurse Manager for the Monroe County Health Department Immunization Program in Rochester, New York. She became interested in school nursing while working as a Child Care Health Consultant for underserved and vulnerable preschool students in New Jersey. While a doctoral student at Rutgers, Dr. Jameson used her dissertation to understand and bring advocacy to the role of the school nurse; a role which frequently goes unnoticed as an integral contributor to the health and wellness of our nation’s children. Dr. Jameson is active in regional and national professional nursing organizations, including the National Association for School Nurses (NASN), where she is currently investigating workload and school nurse outcome indicators through a grant from NASN. She will be joining Seton Hall University in the fall 2018 as an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing.

Beth Jameson, Ph.D., RN, NJ-CSN

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This was taken right after Beth defended her dissertation at Rutgers University in December 2017.  It captures the sheer joy in knowing that her goal was achieved!

There is now a “Relentless Resources” tab, so please feel free to be a #ResourceSponge and send your suggestions to be added to our page by clicking here: Be a #ResourceSponge.  Look for #ResourceSponge info on Twitter! You can also Tweet your resources to me @RobinCogan



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