Park’s school nurse Jan Brant is the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Private/Parochial School Nurse Award in recognition of her commitment to our students here at Park, and her leadership of a network of school nurses in Maryland. Jan will be celebrated at this year’s National Association of School Nurses Conference, to be held in Baltimore on July 1. Congratulations, Jan!
After working as a hospital nurse, Jan arrived at Park in 1996 to a “whole different ball game,” as she says. Taking on the role of school nurse was drastically different from working in a hospital, where she had been for 10 years prior. While public school nurses can consult their supervisors for help or advice, private school nurses don’t have the same types of support systems in place. There was no clear network to turn to when she started, but she was fortunate to find a mentor in another nurse who worked at a public school.
As she settled into her new role at Park, Jan joined the National Association of School Nurses, and serves on the board of the Maryland Association of School Health Nurses (MASHN). She is one of only 57 certified school nurses in the state of Maryland. While not required in Maryland, certification is mandatory in other states. She became one of the two certified school nurse state liaisons for Maryland.
Jan attended state association conferences every year, and thought more and more about programming for private school nurses, specifically, in Maryland. “I remember back in the day when I was just starting and needed a mentor,” says Jan. “It was nice to meet with this special interest group at the conference once a year, but I thought it would be great to get private school nurses together in Baltimore.” Following through with her idea, she started an email list for private school nurses in Maryland — which continued to grow through word of mouth — providing a much-needed resource for Maryland nurses by allowing them to contact each other for advice throughout the school year. Jan also started holding meetings at Park, gathering together about 25-30 private school nurses from all over the state three times a year. She would coordinate special training seminars, offering programs that would benefit everyone. Often times, the meetings turned into opportunities for the nurses to problem solve together, talking about specific issues at their schools.
Each year, the National Association of School Nurses chooses one private school nurse to receive the award for their contributions to the profession, and this year, that one nurse is Jan. She was nominated by her fellow state liaison Donna Lyman, school nurse at Newtown Elementary School, for the phenomenal work she has done coordinating a network of resources and mentors for private school nurses.
“It’s really an honor to receive this award, and I’m happy about all of the work that I’ve done to bring private school nurses together, but in the end, what it does is help those nurses take good care of their students. I advocate for the students,” says Jan.
Now completing her twenty-second year at Park — without ever taking a single sick day! — Jan is currently finishing a master’s degree in Health Science with a focus on School Health, and is writing a book about how to stay healthy.
Congratulations to nurse Jan. We thank her for her hard work and dedication.Back to The Latest
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