2013 National School Nurse Day banner

May 8th is National School Nurse Day. This day, set aside to honor the contribution of school nurses in schools all over the world, coincides with Teacher Appreciation Week. While nurses are not teachers, they play an integral part in ensuring schools provide healthy and safe environments for learning.

National School Nurse Day was established in 1972, to recognize the role of school nurses in the education setting. DoDEA has 198 school nurses supporting the health and educational success of our students. Show your gratitude to your child’s school nurse not only on National School Nurse Day, but at every opportunity through the year. Please be sure to include School Nurses on Wednesday, May 8th, during your Teacher Appreciation celebrations.

Here are a few things your school might want to do to celebrate National School Nurse Day:
  • Recognize the school nurse with appropriate mementos of appreciation.
  • Have students make cards for the School Nurse.
  • Include information about School Nurse Day in all school communications.
  • Include a link to DoDEA's homepage celebration of school nurses on your school website.

Additional resources to help your school honor school nurses can be found at: NASN Website.

Lily Bagtas, OSHNA School Nurse of the Year
Liliy Bagtas

Lily Bagtas

It’s been 12 years since I started School Nursing Overseas with DoDDS. I started as a volunteer nurse at Misawa AB, Japan where my husband was on Active Duty in the Air Force. From that time on I’ve never looked back and can’t imagine going back to hospital nursing again.

As School Nurse, I’m in a unique group, working independently in an overseas setting. It is very challenging especially if you are new to school nursing. I was lucky to have two nurse mentors who guided me when I started.

Being a member of OSHNA and attending annual conferences when I was assigned in Europe has enhanced my nursing practice and professional development. Their up to date information on school health and networking with other overseas nurses has given me opportunities for growth and leadership. It is my goal to facilitate an OSHNA Pacific Conference in the near future.

I’ve enjoyed educating and being the primary health care provider in our school. It is most rewarding when you see kids in the community call “mom, that’s my nurse!” or they give you a hug when they see you.

Concerns about levels of physical activity and healthy eating have been in the media a great deal. Our school has taken an active role not only to identify those at risk for obesity but continuously offers activities and programs to encourage students, staff and community to make a healthy choice. Preventive actions for health promotions through programs and policies impacting nutrition, physical activity and lifestyle changes have been implemented. Examples are: Club 2-1-5, Radio Taiso, Recess before Lunch, Fit for Spring Contest, and a School Wellness Plan.

Ultimately, my goal is using 21st century skills and making a difference one child at a time.

DoDEA Resources:
  • Pacific News Release
    Yokota West Elementary School Nurse Selected as the 2012-2013 OSHNA School Nurse of the Year
  • Safe Schools Newsletter
    May 8 is National School Nurse's Day, USO symposium helps children cope with deployment, a DoDEA nurse shares the inspiring story about how preparedness saved a school principal's life, and more...