School Nursing

The Relentless School Nurse: 2021 – So Much Hope Hangs in the Promise of a New Year

I am typically a “glass is half-full” person, but 2020 certainly tested my usual state of positivity. In fact, I feel like this year was mostly spent in a dark hole. I heard a great explanation of how each day flowed into the next, with little differentiation between weekdays and weekends, it’s called Blursday. In fact, the Oxford Dictionary included Blursday as one of the defining words of 2020, along with Systemic Racism and Pandemic.

Somehow time has slipped away.  What started out as staying home for two weeks from school in March has morphed into 10 months of remote learning with a blurry summer in between. I don’t have a good sense of time anymore, but it is piling up, Blursday after Blursday. Today though is an end and a new beginning. We can look 2020 in our rearview mirror, but I am not naive, the true promise of 2021 will take time to unfold. First, we must get through what seems to be a very dark winter. Spring looks more hopeful and certainly Fall of 2021 will be much different than Fall of 2020. 

I want to thank all of the readers of my blog for your support, encouragement and promotion of my posts this pandemic year. I am humbled by the media outlets that interviewed me and helped amplify the voice of school nursing. From the New York Times, to CNN, CBS, Lisa Ling, HealtheVoices, Newsweek, USA Today, Saturday Evening Post, PBS NewsHour Extra, WHYY, and more, it has been a productive year in terms of spreading the message about the importance of school nursing! I was honored to be invited on podcasts including See You Now, Amplify Nursing, RNMentor Podcast just to name a few. I never like lists because I always leave things off, but suffice it to say, my gratitude runs deep. 

Welcoming 2021 and saying good riddance to 2020 feels like a huge relief with one big caveat, the pandemic is still here. A person is dying every 10 minutes and COVID is currently the number one cause of death in the US. So while I remain hopeful, I am a realist, we are not out of the woods yet, so let’s not let our guard down. 2021 will be the year to receive the COVID vaccine and encourage those you love, care for and are concerned about to get theirs as well. Help spread vaccine confidence, be a voice of reason and information to get to the national goal of 70-85% vaccine participation.

Be well, stay safe has become a mandatory salutation. In 2020 those words have taken on a new significance. They are said with intention and that will continue through 2021. This is my wish for my readers, friends, colleagues, beloved family; Be well, stay safe and get your vaccine.  Cheers to a healthy, safe, and hopeful 2021!


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