At the fifth annual New Jersey State School Nurses Association Conference on March 19 and 20, school nurses listened to speakers and accomplishments of their fellow nurses.
Marie Peppas, RN, BSN, MPH, NJ-CSN, president of NJSSNA, recognized individuals who have significantly contributed to the health of New Jerseys schoolchildren and school nurses.
Amy Garcia, RN, MSN, National Association of School Nurses executive director, was honored for the innovations NASN has made in areas of visibility in Washington, D.C.
Susan Walsh, MD, deputy commissioner of public health services of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, was recognized for her role in the H1N1 epidemic and the guidelines for schools that had to provide resources for staff, faculty, students and families.
Mary Suessmann, RN, BSN, NCSN, MS, a NASN board of director for NJSSNA, was commended for 27 years of service to the association and New Jersey schoolchildren. Her teaching modules for school nurse practice have been implemented by most school nurses and continue to foster professionalism.Mary Suessmann, RN, was commended for 27 years of service to the association and New Jersey schoolchildren.
During breakfast, 350 school nurses listened as keynote speaker Martha Dewey Bergren, RN, DNS, NCSN, BC, FNASN, director of research at NASN, directed RNs to identify the impact they have in the school healthcare delivery and the vital role they play in the coordinated school health model.
With budget cuts and staff reductions a looming reality, Bergren provided tools and expertise to use educational language to describe the success of students and school nurses integral role in that achievement. She encouraged nurses to be visible in the school community, take credit for their achievements, document positive health outcomes and present to the community.
School Nurse of the Year Amy Billera, RN, BSN, NCSN, was recognized. Ann Deutsch, RN, MSN, CSN, CPNP, of Meadowbrook School in Hillsdale, N.J., received a $500 award for her project, Walk Across America, and Laura Marrolli, RN, BSN, MEd, of Burlington County Special Services Junior/Senior High School in Westampton, N.J., received a $1,000 award for her Shelter-in-Place Student Protection project.