The 2017 School Nurse of the Year is Patricia O’Quinn from Wake County. She has been employed by Wake County Human Servicesas a School Based Public Health Nurse since 2003. She is a current member of SNANC andNASN.
Patricia was nominated by a co-worker because of her numerous contributions to her students, families and school staff. This school nurse implemented an asthma lunch bunch group at all three of her elementary schools using creative approaches such as puppets, arts and crafts and asthma bingo to make the classes fun and exciting. Pat has worked with a Burmese refugee family over the past 6 years to help them access healthcare, dental care, and communityresources. In 2014 she won the Swiss Army Knife Award for the most indispensable teammember among the Wake County School Nurses. Patricia is a member of the diabetes committee and is a Diabetes Expert for Wake County Public Schools.
Pat has spent many hours in the community working with Get Out the Vote, the YMCACommunity Hope Program as a mentor to provide literacy support, gathering supplies to support mission trips to Honduras and volunteering at Camp Seagull during her summer.
According to her supervisor and a parent, the attributes that make this nurse exceptional are her ability to be diligent, creative, and relentless when planning and implementing care. One of her principals observed this about Pat: “She never lets the students see their illness or challenge as a handicap. She teaches them to live with and through their challenge by being positive, knowledgeable and informed.”