Submitted by Paula McCoy, President of the West Virginia Association of School Nurses, this transcript of conversation with Brenda Isaac, RN on March 16, 2018 regarding the history of WVASN in honor of NASN’s 50th anniversary. Brenda Isaac is currently the WVASN Executive Secretary and has served as the affiliate’s Past President, and she has been recognized as the West Virginia School Nurse Administrator of the Year.
Q: Tell us about the history of WVASN. In 1991 we were the WV School Health Association and it included other professions, i.e. counselors and social workers. NASN offered a training on Emergency First Aid” train the trainer” program to 10 school nurses and 10 ER nurses in Dallas, TX. Brenda joined NASN so she could participate in this training. She was impressed with the organization and the training provided. The networking was beneficial too.
Q: How is our school nursing practice different now? Brenda started in 1984 and most of the school nurses in Kanawha County had 6 or 7 schools and traveled school to school. Not a lot of students had special health needs and some counties had special center for students with physical health challenges (severe and profound students). Nurses did a lot of screenings and went on trips with students on occasion. There was a lot of wasted time in the car. Now most nurses (in Kanawha County) have two to three schools and there are increased mental and physical health needs. Nurses are challenged to meet those needs. The profession has grown, nurses are more educated and assertive.
Thank you Brenda for your service to school nursing and to the West Virginia Association of School Nurses.