Essay by A. Lepkowski
Vision of School Nursing

The nursing profession combines a science, an art, and a passion for caring for people.  School nursing exemplifies all of these aspects in that it is a unique position in which nurses can practice and reach a multitude of students, families and staff with the science and art of nursing.  My vision of school nursing is that in which nurses act as leaders in health promotion and disease prevention.  My experience as a pediatric emergency room nurse has inspired me to take advantage of my school nursing position to truly make a difference and educate students and parents on disease prevention.  This education on healthy lifestyles may possibly prevent cases of obesity, diabetes, and unnecessary trauma making children healthier and trips to the emergency room less frequent.

My vision of school nursing also includes facilitating and fostering independence in students with chronic medical conditions such as asthma and diabetes.  Educating students on their disease process will ideally increase their comfort level in understanding their health issues and caring for themselves age appropriately. This knowledge will help them to understand that they can lead positive, activity filled lives just like students without medical conditions.  Enhancing knowledge and independence at a young age will aid these students in taking their health seriously and encourage them to take care of their bodies responsibly as adults.  In turn, these students will have the skills and knowledge to lead healthy lives as adults. Ultimately, my vision for school nursing is one in which we are a respected resource for students, staff, and families that they all feel comfortable communicating with about a variety of issues.

I am in the process of becoming a Certified School Nurse, IL Type 73.  This advanced education will familiarize me with the school system and assist me in providing my resources to students to the best of my ability.  I will learn to be an effective member of the multi-disciplinary care team and make the most of my skills as a health resource within the school setting.  Increasing my knowledge of special needs children and adolescents will also allow me to interact with and educate this population more effectively.  Becoming a Certified School Nurse will validate my skill set and knowledge base.  With this certification I will be able to confidently pursue and pioneer health promotion projects to achieve my vision of school nursing.

I am privileged to be a part of the education system as a school nurse.  I will take advantage of my unique position to help make a difference, even if it is only in the lives of a few students.  I want students to know that even if they feel otherwise, there is always someone who cares for them: the school nurse.  Pursuing advanced education in the field of school nursing will enable me to be the most effective school nurse I can be and advocate for nurses within the system, cultivating my vision of school nursing.

Angela Lepkowski