School Nurse Day 2022: Lessons from School Nurses


School Nurse Day 2022: Lessons from School Nurses

Happy School Nurse Day! As part of National Nurses Week and School Nurse Day, we held a contest and asked you to share a lesson you’ve learned as a school nurse over the last two years. We have received over 2,000 entries so far! Below are just a few of the stories we received about patience, perseverance, and more.

I have been a nurse for 22 years, and the past 2 have been the most challenging in my career. COVID was a big part of it initially. It was new territory for all of us. The biggest lesson I learned was to ask for help! I could not do it alone anymore. I was drowning. I am the only nurse in my district and was the go-to for all things COVID. My co-workers truly stepped up and helped me both in my job, my mental health, and my physical health. Nurses can be very stubborn and even territorial. Asking for help is hard, but I have learned we ALL need help. And it’s healthy and advantageous, too! We can't do it alone. – Rachel P.

I have learned that children are amazing and resilient. I saw kids power through this pandemic with their heads held high as they navigated a new way to learn, attended school, and created new ways to communicate with their peers. They show up, they accommodate, and they succeed! – Jennifer O.

Over the last two years, I have learned that I have an important job that is not easy. I have also learned that I have a great support system and the best school nurse team. They are all amazing people and even more amazing school nurses! – Anna M.

The lesson I have learned is that a smile, compassion, and care go a long way with kids. Kids can read our every emotion. Even when we think we can hide things, they see us genuinely. I know sometimes our bad days can reflect how we perceive things, even when we do not wish for others to know – especially our students. These young people are just so honest and innocent. They truly are the reason I do my job. The love they give us is unselfish and honest! – Julie K.

The last two years have taught me to be flexible and that the challenges that I have faced have been opportunities for growth. I have learned how to be relevant to my school while working from home, learned new computer skills, including virtual health rooms, as well as adapting to the ever-changing COVID restrictions once returning to in person schooling. I continue to incorporate these skills into my practice, even though we have returned to in person school. – Heather V.

I learned to expect the unexpected and to be adaptable. Sometimes we get into a routine, and the last two years has challenged me as a nurse and made me think outside the box. I learned about having compassion for students’ mental wellbeing. I learned to listen more to what my students had to say and to watch for the things they did not know how to express. Masks were a different way of life, but we learned to accept change. – Mary B.

Over the last two years I have learned to appreciate the concept and workability of teamwork. From the administration to the support staff, I have come to appreciate the value of listening more fully to every person on our school campus. Everyone has a voice, and we need to listen to each one. This helped us to make better decisions regarding the health and safety of our school. – MaryLou C.

School Nurses are truly healthcare heroes, and we thank you for your ongoing efforts to continue to keep students across the country healthy and safe. We know that the past two years have been difficult, but we are truly inspired by your perseverance, dedication, and passion to school nursing!