Category Archives: School Nursing

Recap of #NASN2015 with #JJSHLP

June went by in a whirlwind! #NASN2015 was just a few weeks ago, and I attended as not only a poster presenter, but an exhibitor with the Johnson & Johnson School Health Leadership Program. I was so fortunate to be asked to participate in the exhibitor booth with many other past fellows of the program. We were able to share details of the program with many school nurse colleagues, and meet some of the new Fellows who will be coming through the program in July. I am having fun running the @JJSHLP Twitter feed, and we took a lot of pictures during the conference at our booth. Check out their Facebook page, as well as the JJSHLP website for more details on the program.

jjshlp NASN pic

Also in June I finished up school on my campus, and said goodbye to a lot of wonderful families, students and teachers from the elementary school where I worked. I love that I can stay connected with many of them through Facebook and other social media channels. It will be so nice to watch my former students grow up from a distance. The end of school was bittersweet, though. I have worked as a school nurse for the past six years, and I can honestly say they have been six of the most productive years of my career, in terms of opportunities and advancement. I remember vividly a colleague trying to dissuade me from entering the school nurse profession, on the basis that it would stall my career, and hurt me professionally. As this was someone I admired and respected very much, her words did give me pause. But I went forth anyway, and have never looked back and/or regretted any decisions during my school nurse career path. It has opened me up to a multitude of new opportunities that I honestly do not think I would have discovered in another nursing specialty. I have been connected to several mentors that have helped and encouraged me along the way. I learned a lot about myself, and on the rare occasions when I look back on my past professional journey prior to school nursing I cringe at how I handled many situations.

mmayer pic

I’ve learned from all those experiences, however, and going forward I now know what not to do. I’ve also learned not to let others limit my thinking as to what I should or should not try to do to grow myself professionally. And by that I don’t mean I just go blazing into new opportunities without seeking guidance from mentors and other colleagues. But now I don’t limit myself to “Well, I’m just a nurse, and since I’ve never done XYZ before, I can’t do it now.” I love the quote from Marissa Mayer above- it was a poster on the wall of the elementary school I worked at, and it really struck me the first time I saw it. I snapped a pic of it, and refer to it often, when I am thinking about starting a new venture.

 

Gearing up for summer

With only 13 days left in the school year, things seem to be wrapping up quickly. The end of year flurry of getting my clinic closed up for summer vacation has commenced. The last day of school will be bittersweet for me, because I have decided not to return to my elementary campus next year. With only three classes left before I graduate with my Masters in Healthcare Informatics, I decided the time was right to go ahead and start looking for a new job. I’m optimistic that my unique nursing background along with my Masters degree will make me a good candidate for an Informatics position. So keep your fingers crossed for me!

I’m still going to stay in touch with my school nurse colleagues, and I will be attending #NASN2015 next month to present my poster on social media. I also plan to keep working with the J&J School Health Leadership Program, which I’m really excited about. (Follow them on Twitter and Facebook, by the way.)

steps pic

Stay tuned for all the posts from #NASN2015. Jessica Porter has some great activities in store for the NASN Twitter mentors.

Publication and new opportunities on the horizon

It looks like Spring is finally here! I am sitting in my sunny living room with the windows open, loving this beautiful weather. The semester is winding down, for both my school nurse job and my graduate program. Some exciting news to report- my article on School Nurses and social media is going to be published this May in the NASN School Nurse journal! I am very proud of this accomplishment, and can’t wait to see it both online and in the journal. There will be a podcast to go along with the article, so stay tuned for that. I am also going to present a poster on the same topic at the NASN Annual conference in Philadelphia this summer, which will be a great experience.

My family and I spent Spring Break in Washington, D.C. this year. My Houston born kids were over the moon when we landed and there was snow on the ground. We had a very busy week sightseeing at all of the popular places there- the National Mall and Monuments, the Smithsonian museums, the Holocaust museum, and Arlington cemetery. It was a fun week, and I am glad we got to spend some quality family time together.

Roosevelt pic

My favorite statue from the FDR memorial

This time next year I will be graduating from SBMI with my Healthcare Informatics Masters degree, so I am beginning my job search for an Informatics position. It’s time to start putting all those theories into practice! It’s always nerve wracking to shift gears and move in a different direction professionally, but that has always been the case with my nursing career. I’m still going to keep ties with my school nursing colleagues, as I think there are still some untapped opportunities there. I have been fortunate to be a member of several committees and workgroups at the regional, state and national level, and I am constantly learning new things from my colleagues. And just when I thought I was done completely with school, I learned of this. DNP, anyone? Maybe I’m not done after all!

Happy Friday the 13th, Valentine Edition

It’s been a busy week here on my elementary campus. The District has been celebrating Peace and Love all week with the #paintthecommunitywithpeace initiative. We had fun decorating our door for the Health Services contest. (Note to self: Always have more than one person spellcheck the message on said door before taking a picture and tweeting it out to the Universe.)

Frank clinic peace

Notice anything off about the picture above?

Also take a quick minute to vote for this super cute student on my campus to win a specially designed bicycle.

Happy Valentines Day!

valentine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of geeknation.com

Sign up for a wearable device study by Addapp

Check out this interesting 6 month study using wearable devices by Addapp Labs. You first have to download their app, and set up an account. Next go and sign up for the study on their website, and answer a few questions about what type of data you currently track, what you are interested in, and why they should choose you to wear one of the devices for 6 months. They will contact you if you meet the requirements for the study. You can also follow Addapp on Twitter for updates. Patient collected data is the wave of the future, and I think there are enormous benefits to it’s use. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I am selected for this study!

There’s been a lot of chatter on the internet recently about patient collected data, and whether or not it can and/or should be used by medical providers. View these TEDMED talks compiled by Lucien Engelen, and this primer from the ONC for some info. Also check out Dr. John K. Halamka’s “Life as a CIO” blog for his insights on collecting and using patient gathered data. You should also follow Dr. Halamka and Mr. Engelen on Twitter for future updates.

Personally I think the more control people have over their own data, the more invested they will ultimately be in their health. And I think there is a large amount of uncollected data that can be used to help complete the picture of a person’s overall health and wellness. (School Nurse data, anyone?) This data can be of enormous use to clinicians to help them care for their patients. The trick is figuring out how to best collect it, and then how to apply and use it.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

happy new year

School Health Leadership applications still open

There are only four days left to apply for the Johnson & Johnson School Health Leadership program! I can’t say enough great things about this program. For School Nurses, who may not ever had had any sort of formal leadership training, this is a fantastic opportunity to really challenge yourself.

Is there an issue on your campus you really want to try and fix, and but feel overwhelmed or unsure how to proceed? Are you a part of important health related decisions on your campus? Do you want to be at the table for those important decisions, but just are not sure how to get there? Twist the arms of some of your fellow School Nurses, and download the application ASAP. This week long program will change the way you see yourself as a School Nurse. You will learn presentation skills, how to network with colleagues and other stakeholders, and connect with some wonderful mentors who really want you to succeed.

JJSHLP mission

I never thought I would have the guts to present at a national conference, or present a poster on a topic important to me. But this program gave me the kick start I needed to accomplish both of those goals. I promise to anyone who attends this program you will come away changed for the better. IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES! Seriously though, if you are on the fence about applying, just go for it. You’re welcome.