Mississippi Celebrates 25 years!
The Mississippi School Nurse Association marked its 25th anniversary this year, 2018. Our official beginning was in 1993 with MSNA’s first annual conference in Natchez, MS. The rest of the story is that our true beginning was also in Natchez, MS in 1988 where 6 Mississippi school nurses led by Martha Douglas met to band together. Martha felt strongly enough about membership in NASN to pay the annual dues out of her pocket for this band of founding school nurses. She was a visionary leader for school nurses in MS who is now celebrated with an annual Martha Douglas Memorial Scholarship funded by MSNA.
The Mission of the Mississippi School Nurse Association is to promote quality school health programs, strengthen the professional growth of school nurses, and advance the practice of school nursing. Our goals are to provide leadership at a state and local level on issues pertaining to school health and to promote visibility of school nursing practice.
MSNA has made an impact on the health of our students with legislation to provide a school nurse program known as the “Mary Kirkpatrick Haskell-Mary Sprayberry Public School Nurse Act of 2007(37-14-7) or School Nurse Intervention Program. This program has been administered and supervised by the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) since 2007. This program provides data to the MS legislature on chronic illnesses and procedures that our school nurses are providing to our students. Over 400 school nurses throughout MS now provide data also to this report. This enables MSNA to bring awareness to other health issues that our students need to be addressed in order to attend school in a safe and healthy environment.
MSNA has a history of both educating and celebrating school nurses across Mississippi. From 1997 to date MSNA has honored both a School Nurse of the Year and Hall of Fame award at the annual conference. In 2017 Diane Chaney, one of our founding nurses, won the Mississippi Nurses Association and Foundation’s Nightingale Award for the Nurse in a Non-traditional Setting.
Each year’s MSNA conference provides education and CEU’s on current practice topics and upcoming issues. Conference is a time for learning, networking, celebrating school nurses, and being a part of MSNA’s business meeting and leadership. Our attendance is typically between 140-160 school nurses.
Conference 2019 will be the first one held after schools are out (June 5-7) with hopes that attendance will improve. Join us—the registration form is on our website www.schoolnursesmsorg.com. I can guarantee that you will learn something, make new friends, and have a fun time in Vicksburg, MS.