School District Five Nursing Supervisor Joanna Stanek has been selected to participate in a brand-new Public School Nurse Leadership program created by the University of South Carolina College of Nursing, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), and the South Carolina Department of Education.
Stanek is one of 26 experienced school nurse leads across the Palmetto State participating in the program which was specifically designed to provide management skills unique to the education setting to help participating nurses achieve excellence in the delivery of school health services. The first cohort is made up entirely of lead nurses, who serve as the point person for every school in a district.
“I am honored to participate in the School Nurse Leadership Program,” Stanek said. “I look forward to strengthening my leadership skills and forming valuable, collaborative relationships with school nurse leaders across the state. I believe both students and staff will benefit from the positive impact this program will have on Nursing Services in our district.”
The new program launched at the end of September. It offers in-person workshops where school nurses learn leadership skills, develop their own leadership styles and build confidence in addition to gaining a group of peers to network with. The nurses also attend virtual sessions co-presented by expert district nursing directors and administrators covering various aspects of education including transportation, nutrition, human resources and special education.
“South Carolina is fortunate to have a lead nurse in all K-12 districts,” said Victoria Ladd, State School Nurse Consultant with DHEC and the Department of Education. “Lead school nurses are challenged to bridge the practice of nursing with the world of K-12 education, which has its own language and mission.”
School nursing complements academics by helping students manage chronic diseases and mental illness, allowing them to stay in class and in school. School nurses also perform many public health initiatives such as monitoring for immunization compliance and preventing and managing the outbreak of contagious illnesses.
“The College of Nursing strongly believes that partnered approaches to solutions facing our state’s nurses and the patients and communities we serve are vital to making a positive and sustainable impact,” said Dean Jeannette Andrews, USC College of Nursing. “This alliance with school nurse leaders, DHEC and the Department of Education is a prime exemplar of what’s possible in our state.”
DHEC plans to apply for additional CDC funding to enable the School Nursing Leadership Program to continue in future years.