School Nursing

The Relentless School Nurse: Connecting School Nurses Across the Country Through Twitter

Over the last few weeks, I have been publishing guest blog post from my Rutgers-Camden School Nurse Certificate students. They had a 3-part social media assignment that culminated in a blog post about a school nurse who uses Twitter as part of her practice. This post was written by Jenna Falzone, a new nurse and soon to be school nurse, who was paired with Liz Pray, a seasoned school nurse from Washington State.  I am proud of the efforts of all of my students and thankful for the network of #SchoolNurseTwitter who shared their important perspectives with the next generation!

Luckily, it’s not as hard to talk to someone you do not know on the total opposite coast as
you would think. Thankfully for Twitter I was able to connect with a school nurse all the
way from Washington State! Liz Pray MSN-Ed, RN, NCSN is a very successful, but
busy school nurse. I was fortunate enough to chat with her a few days after she attended
the 2019 School Nurse Organization of Washington’s conference where she is President
elect! How cool is that? This year they focused on school nurse case loads and how
Washington State is a little behind the ball with their nurse to student ratios. The state
funds 1 nurse to 4,400 students at basic education. Liz uses twitter to tell her story,
connect with others who may have a similar story, and feels it is a good way to connect
with other school nurses across the country. And of course, it’s also how she met Robin Cogan.
Before Liz’s big move (which I’ll get to in a sec), she was one nurse to 2000 students.
Can you even imagine? Liz’s day consists of traveling between 3 different schools in her
district all while being in control of all of the student’s health and having to delegate
certain tasks to paraprofessionals over the phone while she is not there. While she loves
all of the staff and stays out of the political end of things, she does feel there is an
absolute need for more RN’s in her district due to safety for the students. Her district has
a wide variety of students with health conditions such as special needs with trachs and
PEGs, students that need to be fed, and of course her diabetics, asthmatics, and seizure
conditions. While most of her paraprofessionals are great and get trained first aid skills
and basic care, we all know Liz, as the RN, is the only one allowed to administer certain
medications to these students. It was about 3 years ago when Liz decided to speak up,
with the help of the nursing department at school and start advocating for herself and her
students. During the time of new contracts being made, and a lot of work, I mean going
through her union, going state wide and reviewing policy after policy, writing formal
letters to her district, her district did end up allowing not only another nurse, but 2 more
RNs into her district to better student health and safety. Her school now employs 6 full
time and 2 part time employees all dedicated to the school health offices. Liz truly
believes everything happens for a reason and this happened to create more changes and
more of a space to have a voice to continue bettering her district in all aspects. She is
more than positive there is room for growth and this is only the beginning.
Liz has learned many lessons with this experience and one of her big messages at her
conference over the weekend is to share your story and be an advocate for our profession
as school nurses. She is so passionate about bridging the gap between education and
health and making sure her students take care of themselves outside of school and for the
rest of their lives. I don’t know about you, but I would be more than grateful if Liz was
the school nurse in my hometown! I am so grateful to have talked to her and hear her
story, but also to take some great advice with me for my school nurse journey.


Liz Pray, MSN-Ed, RN, NCSN
Liz Pray MSN-Ed, RN, NCSN received her associates degree from Big Bend
Community College in 2004, Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Washington State
University in 2012, and Masters in Nursing Education from Western Governors
University in 2015. She became a Nationally Certified School Nurse in 2017. Liz  
realized her long hours as a family practice nurse and single mom responsibilities did not
mix will together. She needed something more flexible and saving money on day care for
her now 11-year-old son. In her down time she loves being involved with her son’s boy
scouts. She hones her skills during the summer at boy scout Summer camps. She also enjoys hunting and playing ice hockey with her son. 
Jenna Falzone, BSN, RN
Bio: Jenna Falzone, RN, BSN, NJ-CSN has recently received her BSN from Rutgers
University and continued her education in school nursing to eventually receive her MSN.
She currently works as a cardiac step down nurse at Inspira Health Network doing
cardiac/pulmonary-nursing care. Ms. Falzone utilizes skilled nursing practices to
critically ill patients using a team of medical professionals and resources. Falzone has
several years experience employed at Inspira urgent care working with the public of all
different ages providing health services. During nursing school, she was lucky enough to
receive the Rutgers School of Nursing Abroad Scholarship towards her trip to Guatemala
where she got the opportunity to work with woman and children providing health
education and screenings. Ms. Falzone is passionate about pediatric health as well
helping and caring for the public and will soon be a Nationally Certified School Nurse to
pursue her long-term goal of becoming a school nurse. Jenna enjoys being with her
family and friends who are her world, going to the beach, and shopping.
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