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The Minnesota Nurses Association: School Nurses in Minnesota Celebrate 100 Years of Addressing Health Needs of School Children
Date:11/4/2009

ST. PAUL, Minn., Nov. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The H1N1 strain may be a "novel" virus, but it is nothing new to school nurses in Minnesota who are celebrating 100 years of professional service in the state. Ceremonies scheduled for Friday, November 6th will honor the ten decades of valuable contributions made by school nurses to the health of children and communities.

Never ones to miss an educational opportunity, planning committee members are also offering an education session focusing on the worldwide influenza epidemic. Attendees will examine operational models that will prepare school nurses for vaccine implementation and offer cutting-edge strategies for overall outbreak management.

"Early visionaries determined the inescapable link between health and education," said Ann Hoxie, RN, President of the 350-member School Nurse Organization of Minnesota (SNOM). "School Nurses provide a key service to keep children healthy, reduce absences and help assure academic success."

The commitment of addressing the health needs of Minnesota children in schools began in the fall of 1909 when infectious diseases, poverty, immigration, truancy and lack of social services acted as a catalyst for hiring Virginia Rice as the first school nurse for the St. Paul Public Schools. Today, for many uninsured and underinsured low income families, school nurses are the frontline health care provider. "A lack of access to a school nurse can lead to disruption of the child's school day, expensive trips to the emergency room and delays in the care of chronic and preventable illnesses," said Ms. Hoxie.

The National Association of School Nurses will be represented at the event by President Sandi DeLack, RN, MEd, NCSN who is leading the organization in their collaboration with the US Departments of Health and Education in the effort to protect school aged children from H1N1. Ms. DeLack applauded the state organization, saying,
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SOURCE Minnesota Nurses Association
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