Letters to the Editor

Letter: Thank a school nurse

I am the interim president of the Alaska School Nurses Association (ASNA) and I have been a school nurse for many years here in Anchorage. I want to say thank you to the school nurses working in Alaska and across our country. National School Nurses Day is this week, and I would like to ask you to take a moment to say thank you and share your appreciation with the school nurses in your school and our communities.

School nurses work diligently in so many capacities to help students with mental and health challenges be successful in school. We should celebrate and honor the time and effort given, especially over the past two years. COVID-19 put a tremendous burden on everyone, and school nurses were not exempt. They were in the throes of it all, trying to keep children and families safe with the additional workload of testing, contact tracing and educating families while often being the only medical expert in the building.

School nurses exemplify honesty, integrity and perseverance, and serve their communities by promoting and protecting student health. They are the bridge between health care and education. School nurses are there for emergencies, bumps and bruises, mental/health assessments and interventions, administration of medication, chronic health care needs, creating and implementing care plans, health screenings, and to make sure students and staff are in good health so that they can be in the classroom teaching and learning. It is not just band-aids and ice packs.

In 1972, National School Nurse Day was established to recognize school nurses. This was intended to cultivate a better understanding of the role of school nurses in the education setting. I believe many still do not understand how integral school nurses are in the educational setting, and I hope this explains a little of what we do. The ASNA is very proud of the 209 professional school nurses serving our diverse communities throughout Alaska. Each one working tirelessly to care for their communities. Please join me in saying thank you to these hardworking and compassionate school nurses. They are helping make our schools and communities safer and healthier for everyone.

— Kathleen Easley BSN, RN, NCSN

Interim President, Alaska School Nurses Association


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