It seems like it has taken a national public health emergency to highlight the fact that schools need school nurses. Yes, we are on the frontlines, in the trenches, front and center for all things health related for students and school communities. In fact, it was Mary Pappas, a school nurse from NY that noted an alarming trend of high fevers in her students. Mary reported her findings to her health department, which was key in identifying the H1N1 virus in 2009.
Lina Rogers, the first school nurse, place in NY public schools by Lillian Wald in 1902, cared for over 10,000 students in 4 schools. Within a month, Lina Rogers had dramatically improved chronic absenteeism by 90%. You see, we have been in the business of school health for more than 100 years. Here is a message from Lina Rogers that rings true today:
“A sensible school nurse, with good judgment, discretion, and enthusiasm, may be a powerful factor in the general improvement of a community.” – Lina Rogers
Andrea Gabor wrote this Op-Ed about “how budget cuts have made in-school health professionals an endangered species, just when the coronavirus epidemic highlights their value”:
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