Tessa McIlraith AKA Nurse Mac gets “Character Strong” on The CharacterStrong Podcast and answers this important question: How can schools utilize the school nurse to address the social emotional healthcare trends in the classroom?
We talk with Tessa about how nurses can help take more a more preventive approach in the school, how schools can better utilize their nurses as they focus on the whole child, and how nurses and schools can think creatively to help bring awareness to different healthcare needs.
I started my nursing career as a CNA and worked my way from LPN to BSN. School nursing has been an amazing adventure. I love working with students and families for a longer duration throughout their education. It is gratifying seeing students learn to navigate their health and education goals. Leadership and advocacy are vital to being a school nurse. As a medical professional in the education setting, I must keep up on a variety of skills and knowledge about a very widespread practice. My goal is to be an asset to my community for health and well-being. Our practice is based on evidence-based practices and we are professionals. As the Legislative Chair of our state school nurse organization, I am a voice that helps our legislators and administrators fully understand and acknowledge the work school nurses do. I also enjoy the outdoors, own a farm, teach at a dance studio and have a wonderful, active family!
Workload: I currently am a District nurse overseeing 2 other amazing registered nurses and 9 health assistants. My caseload includes preschool to our transition program for up to 21-year-old students. I have approximately 1400 students and 2 buildings.
Published by Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN
Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN, is a Nationally Certified School Nurse (NCSN), currently in her 22nd year as a New Jersey school nurse in the Camden City School District. Robin is the Director for New Jersey to the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) Board. She is proud to be a Johnson & Johnson School Health Leadership Fellow and past Program Mentor. Robin is the honored recipient of multiple awards for her work in school nursing and population health. These awards include, 2019 and 2020 National Association of School Nurses President’s Award, 2018 NCSN School Nurse of the Year, 2017 Johnson & Johnson School Nurse of the Year, and the New Jersey Department of Health 2017 Population Health Hero Award. Robin serves as faculty in the School Nurse Certificate Program at Rutgers University-Camden School of Nursing, where she teaches the next generation of school nurses. She was presented the 2018 Rutgers University – Camden Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award for Part-time Faculty. Robin writes a weekly blog called The Relentless School Nurse. She also writes a monthly column in My American Nurse, the official journal of the American Nurses Association. Robin’s work is included as a case study in The Future of Nursing Report 2020-2030. You can follow Robin on Twitter at @RobinCogan.
View all posts by Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN