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2013 Deer Valley School Nurse of the Year from Las Brisas Elementary

deer valley school nurse of the year 2013
At the ceremony at Las Brisas Elementary School are, left to right, Kathy Northrop RN, BSN, clinical director of pediatrics at John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital; 2013 School Nurse of the Year Jackie Duarte, RN, BSN, MPA, M.Ed.; Mendy, the spokesdog for the 24/7 Children's Emergency Center, Mendy's Place at Deer Valley; Marie G. Brennan, executive director of the Deer Valley Education Foundation; and Jessica Rivas, RN, MSN, CENP, NEA-BC, vice president and Chief Nursing Officer at the hospital.

In recognition of excellence in school nursing, Jackie Duarte, RN, BSN, MPA, M.Ed., has been named the 2013 School Nurse of the Year by John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital and Deer Valley Education Foundation, the non-profit fundraising foundation of the Deer Valley Unified School District.

Nurse Jackie, as she is affectionately called by students, was surprised at a school assembly on May 21, 2013, by Jessica Rivas, RN, MSN, CENP, NEA-BC, vice president and Chief Nursing Officer at the hospital; Kathy Northrop RN, BSN, clinical director of pediatrics at the hospital; Mendy, the spokesdog for the 24/7 Children's Emergency Center, Mendy's Place; and Marie G. Brennan, executive director of the Deer Valley Education Foundation.

Nurse Jackie wiped away tears, thanked everyone and then reminded the 350 first- through third-graders to stay sun safe and wear sunscreen this summer.

"I love being a school nurse because I am able to take care of all of the kids, physically and emotionally, really taking care of the whole child and having an influence on their health and well being," Nurse Jackie said. "They make it pretty fun. There is usually not a dull moment."

The award acknowledges excellence in school nursing practice and leadership in school health. Nurses from the Deer Valley Unified School District, in the North and West Valley are nominated for the award, and a committee from John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital in Phoenix selects the recipient after reviewing nominations and interviewing candidates.

"The committee appreciated Nurse Jackie's commitment to the health and well-being of her school and to the many facets of nursing," Kathy said. "She helps families and staff. She provides gentle care in the school's health center and often serves as an unofficial counselor for students who are having difficulties."

This is the second time Nurse Jackie has received the School Nurse of the Year honor. Nurse Jackie noted how the school nurse's role has changed over the years as children come to school with more medically fragile conditions. It's important to have a nurse who can handle their care so the children can be part of the school community without worrying about their health, she said.

"I am really humbled that I can do all these things and make a difference," she said.

Nurse Jackie has been a school nurse for 20 years and at Las Brisas Elementary in Glendale since January 2004. She was an RN in the former Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix and at a health center for active duty military in England before becoming a school nurse. Las Brisas has about 800 students. She coordinates the Adopt-a-Family program every December with the PTSA, and she serves as the co-chair of the school's bullying prevention committee.

"By sponsoring this award for 10 years, John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital has provided a great community benefit in supporting our school nurses as they care for students, families and teachers and have helped us create a healthier community," said Marie G. Brennan, executive director of the Deer Valley Education Foundation.

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