Anniversaries are a wonderful time for reflection, appreciation, and announcements. You may have heard that 2019 is the 20th Anniversary of the Washington State School Nurse Corps (SNC)! The SNC is a robust statewide program that helps to ensure that all students in Washington schools have access to registered nursing services. SNC promotes student health and safety, improves attendance, fosters academic achievement, reduces health and educational disparities, and contributes to the development of an engaged and informed citizenry and workforce across the state. SNC’s key operating principle and services are:
- SNC envisions equitable, full access to school nursing services so that all children can be safe and successful in school and life.
- Two essential services are provided:
- Funding for direct professional registered nursing services in small, rural school districts with the greatest needs, and regional infrastructure to ensure equity
- Student health and safety needs are addressed, including a nurse administrator in each Educational Service District.
In 2013, SNC was the recipient of the prestigious Washington State Warren Featherstone Reid award, recognized for its exceptional quality, innovative design, and value in the delivery of healthcare services. Since that time, the program continues to partner with schools, families and communities to expand our public school districts’ capacity to provide a safe and healthy learning environment.
In our region the Northwest Educational Service District 189 (NWESD) supports SNC services in Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan, Island, and Snohomish counties and provides funding support for registered nursing services in 13 districts and regionalized school health support services for all 35 districts in our region.
As with anything in life change is inevitable. And this year longtime SNC Administrator Lorali Gray announced her retirement. The NWESD would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to Lorali Gray, MEd, BSN, RN, NCSN for her many years of service and dedication to the SNC program. Lorali spent 23 years as School Nurse at Mount Baker School District and 12 years as SNC Administrator at the NWESD and although we are sad to see Lorali go, we are excited to welcome Lynnette Ondeck, MEd, BSN, RN, NCSN as the new NWESD SNC Administrator. Lynnette has spent 29 years as School Nurse at Nooksack Valley School District. Lynnette has been very involved in school nursing on a local, state and national level and has been able to hit the ground running.
In celebration of its 20th year, informational events have been scheduled at state and regional conferences and an anniversary booklet was developed that can be found at this link:
Let’s join in honoring the service and celebrating 20 years of service!