Tennessee thanking school nurses on School Nurse Day

Debbie Monahan, Charles Robbins

(AP Photo/Ben Finley)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — National School Nurse Day is on Wednesday, May 12, and in recognition, the state Department of Education is honoring the more than 1,600 school nurses.

School nurses support the health and wellness of schools and students, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. They provide schools, families and students with care coordination, critical thinking skills, health education and more.

“With the challenges presented during the 2020-21 school year, school nurses have been true heroes, serving our school communities to ensure our students are healthy and able to continue learning,” Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn said. “Their contributions have been critical to ensuring in-person learning continues, and we give the best for all our students.”

TDOE created a video highlighting school nurses from across the state, and Gov. Bill Lee, Schwinn, Lt. Governor Randy McNally, and Speaker Cameron Sexton shared why they are thankful for school nurses.

Throughout the state, district and school leaders have praised the work school nurses have done during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The past year has been a challenging — and interesting — year. As school nurses, they found themselves removed from the clinics within the schools and reinvented the way they work with our students — whether virtually, in the classroom, or in a hybrid world. Our nurses are contact tracers, infectious disease experts, mental health advocates, and staunch advocates for the health and safety of our schools and our communities. Students are the heart and soul of what drives the nurses.”

Heather Ledbetter, CSH coordinator, Maryville City Schools

“I am so blessed to be working with such a knowledgeable, dedicated nursing staff team. They truly keep the best interest of the students, staff, and community in mind with everything they do. I want to personally thank them for showing up every day for their students and staff.”

Madison Branham, RN, nursing coordinator, Oak Ridge Schools

I would like to thank all our school nurses for everything they do. They always do everything in their power to meet the needs of students whether it is providing clothing, food, etc. while also providing one on one service for every student that enters their office. Our nurses make our students feel like they are the most important people in the entire building.” 

Jeanny Phillips, director of schools, Oneida Special Schools 

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