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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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DOH-Seminole - Nurses Week: Recognizing Nurses as Crucial to Health Care

May 08, 2019

Sanford, Fla. - Across Florida, there are thousands of nurses with a passion and commitment to care for others in their greatest times of need. They are the compassionate faces at the bedside and the healing hands that work tirelessly to ensure that each patient, adult or child, receives safe, quality health care.

This week, May 6 through May 12, the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County (DOH-Seminole) is joining partners across the community to celebrate National Nurses Week and highlight the diverse ways nurses are working to improve health care. Today, there are more than 400,000 nursing professionals in Florida who play a vital role in maintaining the health of Floridians. DOH-Seminole has 30 nurses serving clients in the Immunizations, STD, HIV, Teen Clinic, Epidemiology, School Health and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Programs.

"We are proud to have a dedicated group of public health nurses delivering excellent service to clients who receive care at the health department. Our nurses are essential to public health providing clinical services and serving the community through outreach, mobile health services, community meetings and during emergency special needs shelters," said Donna Walsh, health officer for the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County.

"Each day our nurses serve clients with compassion and the highest level of quality care. We recognize them for being an inspiration and positive impact to all they serve," said Sarah Wright, executive nursing director for the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County.

Nursing: The Most Trusted Profession in the Country

Nurses make up a large portion of Florida's health care workforce. Almost everyone has had an interaction with a nurse, whether it be in a hospital, health clinic, private practice, home care setting or school environment where nurses are often the primary caregivers and patient advocates.

According to Gallup's 2018 Honesty and Ethics Survey, more than four in five Americans (84%) rate the honesty and ethical standards of nurses as "very high" or "high," earning them the top spot among a diverse list of professions for the 17th consecutive year. With the exception of 2001, when firefighters were on the list after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, nurses have far outpaced all other professions since their addition to the list two decades ago

Governor DeSantis recently signed two proclamations acknowledging the importance and efforts of Florida's nurses in health care and school settings.

School Nurses Vital to Student Health, In and Out of School

DOH-Seminole also recognizes Wednesday, May 8 as School Nurse Day a day to recognize Florida's more than 1,178 registered professional school nurses for the important work they do on behalf of students. School nurses are an essential component to the health and well-being of students, particularly those with acute and chronic health conditions.

"School nurses provide tremendous leadership in the areas of policy development, training, quality improvement, health care and education, which ensure that over 67,900 students in Seminole County are safe, healthy and ready to learn. From addressing disease outbreaks to participating in meetings to support complex health care needs, and from providing health screenings to immunizations, school nurse care impacts the wellbeing of everyone in our community. Their level of dedication, courage, professionalism and compassion is second to none. We applaud and value all our school nurses," said Gloria Rivadeneyra, school health manager for the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County.

"School nurses have an opportunity to be instrumental in our children's education by optimizing their health outcomes. Being a school health services coordinator allows me to be a positive influence on the health services being provided to our students here in Seminole County. Seminole county school nurses do an outstanding job," said Stephanie Jackson, health services coordinator for Seminole County Public Schools.

"Being a school nurse is so very rewarding. It's a gift and privilege to be able to come to school every day and care for our medically fragile students. I'm so very blessed to be able to provide care to these precious children who would otherwise not be able to attend school. All the while their families work knowing that their medical and educational needs are being met to the fullest capacity," said Amy Reichard, nurse for Seminole County Public Schools.

During the 2017-2018 school year, Florida's school health nurses served more than 2.8 million students and supervised more than 25 million services to keep Florida's students safe and healthy while at school. For many of these students, without nursing services, attendance would decrease or students would be unable to attend school.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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