School Nursing

The Relentless School Nurse: Meet Peggy Bassrawi, a Retired School Nurse With 50 Years of Practice!

Sharing stories from school nurses across the country is one of the goals I had for starting The Relentless School Nurse almost seven years ago!  Please keep sending in your stories, they can be brief, typically 500 words or less work well. Write a short bio and include a picture and I will do the rest! Email your story to:

Here is another story from the field, this one is from Peggy Bassrawi, an Illinois school nurse who retired at 72 with 50 years of practice!


I graduated from U of M in 1972 and began my career working in a hospital-as most of us did back then. In 1989 after getting a MS In Public Health Nursing from University of Illinois Chicago, becoming a CSN (getting married and having a child) my school nursing career began. I started part time at a high school. The issues back then were different. There was always the problem of correct immunizations, physicals being done on time!  There were the usual colds, flu, etc. But there were always the bigger issues, fights, injuries, child abuse, pregnancies, drug use, and dealing with parents!

I learned a lot from the full time nurse-an old timer- but she knew the kids well. Over time I became the Head Nurse in 1999, and had to write all the reports -IEP, health histories, state immunization and vision and hearing reports. I enjoyed most of the job, except the fact that the school administration was not usually interested in what I had to say-unless it was a serious health issue, and even then “the guys” knew best!  It was very frustrating.

I retired from full time work in 2014, but continued to sub at a different school district for the next 8 years. When I was an infrequent sub it was just a good day to get to work, but during 3 of those years I was a part time long term sub. The last 2 years I worked with staff and students during the peak of Covid.  I did rapid testing for staff and students, made phone calls to parents and anything else that was needed!

After 50 years and at the age of 72- I decided I was done!
I have enjoyed my career very much and would do the same thing all over again.

Thank you,
Peggy Bassrawi, MSN, LEP-CSN

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