Kimberly McClintick, MSN, RN, the children’s school health coordinator at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska, embarked on a mission in 2018 to elevate the experience of school nurses across the state.
Through surveys and conversations, she discovered a crucial need for mentors, particularly in rural communities, where school nurses often find themselves as the sole healthcare provider for an entire district. The lack of support and guidance can leave these nurses feeling overwhelmed.
McClintick was determined to bridge this gap and revolutionize the support system for school nurses and teamed up with Andrea Riley, BSN, RN, children’s school health liaison, to create a groundbreaking initiative–the Nebraska School Nurse Mentor Program. The program pairs seasoned school nurse mentors with newer school nurses.
The CDC recently recognized the Nebraska School Nurse Mentor Program as a remarkable Healthy Schools Story of Achievement. Daily Nurse honors Kimberly McClintick as the Nurse of the Week for her work to enhance school health in rural communities and helping to increase new nurses’ confidence in their work with the 12,5000+ students in rural school districts in Nebraska.
Since its inception during the 2020-2021 school year, the School Nurse Mentor Program has seen resounding success. It has already made a significant impact with 83 mentees and 25 mentors from 70 school districts across the state. An impressive 76% of mentees reported a notable increase in confidence and proficiency, resulting in a heightened ability to fulfill their roles effectively.
Nominate a Nurse of the Week! Every Wednesday, DailyNurse.com features a nurse making a difference in the lives of their patients, students, and colleagues. We encourage you to nominate a nurse who has impacted your life as the next Nurse of the Week, and we’ll feature them online and in our weekly newsletter.
School nursing builds a culture of health and improves health outcomes in their communities. Today’s Nurse of the Week is a school nurse passionate about using the school nursing profession to educate and uplift students, families, and the community.
We honor Dr. Cynthia Samuel, Ph.D., RN, CSN-NJ, school nurse at the University Middle School in Irvington, New Jersey as the Nurse of the Week.
“I’ve had the privilege to collaborate with and serve on various school nursing committees, projects, and events at National, State, and local levels with Dr. Samuel,” says Judith Woop, retired Executive Director and President of the New Jersey State Nurses Association.
Woop says she’s partnered with Dr. Samuel on professional and community agencies such as the National Association of School Nurses, New Jersey Education Association, and American Academy of Pediatrics. She says Dr. Samuel’s leadership speaks volumes.
Woop says Dr. Samuel proudly represents the school nursing community by increasing school nurse visibility and advocacy with community stakeholders and presenting nationally on current school health policy and procedures.
“Dr. Cynthia Samuel embodies today’s Certified School Nurse in New Jersey. Her timely mission is to connect underserved/underprivileged students and families pre-post Covid-19 with needed essentials in the community,” says Woop.
She says Dr. Samuel’s years of experience enhance her ability to successfully transfer her nursing skills into a school practice to care for those in the community she represents. In addition, Dr. Samuel is a visible, reliable, and trusted neighborhood advocate, serving as a necessary community liaison and resource person in today’s unprecedented times.
Woop says honoring Dr. Samuel as Nurse of the Week is the perfect recognition for her tireless efforts in serving her students and community. Adding that Dr. Samuel contributes diversity, experience, expertise, and medical insight that lends richness to enhancing New Jersey students’ academic and psycho-social growth and development.
Nominate a Nurse of the Week! Every Wednesday, DailyNurse.com features a nurse making a difference in the lives of their patients, students, and colleagues. We encourage you to nominate a nurse who has impacted your life and as the next Nurse of the Week, and we’ll feature them online and in our weekly newsletter.
Our Nurse of the Week is Annie Dyke, a school nurse at Madison County Central School who helped save an eighth-grade boy after his heart stopped during gym class.
M.J. Crumity was in the middle of a game of dodgeball in gym class when his pacemaker quit working. He collapsed on the floor and went into cardiac arrest. The coach first called the school’s resource officer, Sgt. Joey Knight, for help.
When Knight arrived, Crumity was lying unresponsive on the gym floor. Knight is a trained emergency medical technician, so he immediately began CPR until Nurse Annie arrived with an automatic external defibrillator.
They applied the defibrillator while Knight continued compressions. Once Crumity was responsive again, he was taken to the hospital and further treated there.
Crumity has a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, in which the heart muscle is too thick and makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood. He underwent open heart surgery at three years old to install a pacemaker. For some reason his pacemaker didn’t work on this day during gyn class though, and without the quick response of Knight and Dyke, he may not have survived.
Dyke tells cnn.com, “[Crumity is] a walking miracle. He is here for a reason and I hope whatever he wants, that his dreams come true.”
To learn more about Annie Dyke, a school nurse at Madison County Central School who helped save an eighth-grade boy after his heart stopped during gym class, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Deborah Kaplan, the director of nursing and health services for Raleigh County Schools. Kaplan was recognized by the Highmark Foundation for “Advancing Excellence in School Nursing.” The foundation awarded Kaplan the School Nursing Practice and Leadership award in honor of her demonstration of leadership in school health and qualities of care and compassion.
Kaplan has more than 35 years of nursing experience. She started her career as a floor nurse at an area hospital and has served in a number of capacities in the hospital setting, including outpatient surgery and quality improvement nurse management. She heard about school nursing from a colleague and grew interested in pursuing a job as a school nurse before finally joining the Raleigh County School system when a job became available in 1997.
As health care challenges have grown over the decades, so has the need for more nurses, especially in schools. Over the course of her career, Kaplan has advocated for more nurses in the school, and the board office supported the effort. There are now 14 school nurses throughout the county, and most nurses oversee two schools each. Kaplan has also provided “Stop the Bleed” training for school nurses and staff in case of an active shooter and applied for grants to get emergency medical supplies in each school in the county.
The Highmark Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health, well-being, and quality of life for individuals and communities throughout the areas served by Highmark Inc. To learn more about Raleigh County Schools Director Deborah Kaplan who was recognized by the Highmark Foundation for excellence in nursing, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Peggy Phillips, a retired registered school nurse who was aboard the damaged Southwest Airlines flight that was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia last week following an engine failure. Phillips heroically rushed to the aid of critically injured passenger Jennifer Riordan who unfortunately lost her life.
Phillips recalled the terrifying incident to abc7NY, describing her efforts to save her fellow passenger. Passengers first heard a loud noise about 20 minutes into their flight, right before the plane began to shake. After an engine failure led to one the jet’s windows shattering, Riordan was partially pulled out of the airplane before two fellow passengers pulled her back in.
Hearing the commotion a few rows behind her, Phillips quickly responded after a passenger called for anyone who knew CPR. With the help of an EMT on board, Phillips performed CPR for more than 20 minutes until the pilot was able to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia.
Phillips tells abc7NY.com, “There are a lot of really thoughtful and heroic things that went on during the flight. I can honestly say I was very proud of everyone that was involved in this.”
She is grateful for the pilot, crew, and her fellow passengers who performed lifesaving acts that allowed the rest of those on board to make a safe emergency landing. To learn more about Phillips and the aid she provided to a critically injured passenger, visit here.