School Nursing

The Relentless School Nurse: The Tipping Point


One of the most engaged readers of my blog is veteran school nurse Linda Morse, who retired from the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) several years ago. She has a deep knowledge of school nursing from her wide-angle lens as one of the few school nurses at the state level. Linda often comments on my blog posts and shares her reflections, reactions, and recommendations, all important points that I read carefully. Today was no different, Linda responded to a blog post I published called “Art Heals.”  She shared the quote below from Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Tipping Point, published in 2000, and prefaced it by saying, “This excerpt describes the roles school nurses may play in reshaping and reimagining school and community health. Covid may have led us down a new path with different expectations for schools and school nurses. Who will you choose to be in this time of change?”

When people are overwhelmed with information and develop immunity to traditional forms of communication, they turn instead for advice and information to the people in their lives whom they respect, admire, and trust. The cure for immunity is finding Mavens, Connectors, and Salesmen.― Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Thank you Linda for sharing your insights based on decades of experience in the complex field of school nursing. I love this challenge and urge the readers of this blog to answer, “Who will you choose to be in this time of change?”

I believe that Malcolm Gladwell’s quote emphasizes the crucial role of effective communication in times of change and uncertainty. For school nurses, this means that we have an opportunity to step into leadership roles as trusted sources of information and advice for students, families, and our community.

With the ongoing challenges of recovering from COVID, concerns about school-based violence, and the mental health crisis, there are new expectations and demands placed on school nurses. We can play a more prominent role in communicating information about public health guidelines, supporting students and families who are coping with mental health concerns, and advocating for resources and support to address health disparities in our community.

To effectively fulfill these roles, we must develop skills and strategies for effective communication and engagement. This involves building strong relationships with students, families, and other community members, developing effective messaging and communication strategies, and collaborating with other healthcare professionals and community organizations to leverage resources and support.

Gladwell’s quote reinforces the importance of the role that school nurses can play in shaping the health and well-being of our school and community. By serving as Mavens (experts), Connectors (relationship-builders), and Salesmen (effective communicators), we can help ensure that students and families receive the support and resources they need to thrive. I am committed to leveraging my expertise and relationships to advocate for the health and well-being of my students and community. As Linda Morse asked, “Who will you choose to be in this time of change?” 




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