CCSD Lead Nurse Named Georgia’s School Nurse Administrator of the Year
Category : CCSD
A Cherokee County School District nurse has been named the top school nurse leader in the state!
Gwen Chambers, who serves as CCSD’s senior lead nurse overseeing its school nurse program, is the Georgia Association of School Nurses’ 2017 Georgia School Nurse Administrative of the Year. She now is a nominee for the National Association of School Nurses’ top honor.
“This award confirms what we in Cherokee County have known for years: Ms. Chambers is a skilled nurse, dedicated educator and outstanding administrator, who cares deeply about her community,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said. “We’re so proud of her success and this statewide honor!”
Ms. Chambers, who joined CCSD as a school nurse 29 years ago and has served as a lead nurse for 17 years, was surprised with the honor at the Association’s annual conference last week in Savannah.
The award recognizes excellence in school nursing leadership; the winner is selected based on criteria including: clinical practice leadership, administrative leadership, professional development, professional advocacy activity, community involvement and research.
“The school nurse is the only line of healthcare some students see,” said Ms. Chambers, who began her career with CCSD as an itinerant nurse, who traveled from school to school before the development of the current on-site school nurse program. The District’s program now employs 41 school nurses, led by two lead nurses, who serve 42,000 students and 4,500 full-time and additional 1,000 part-time/at-will employees throughout the year. “I feel I have fulfilled my vision of a structured school health program, and I have seen hundreds of students helped through the on-site school nurses. The program is thriving, and plans to continue to maintain, nurture, build and represent the program are in my future.”
Dr. Hightower praised Ms. Chambers for her knowledge and advocacy, citing her efforts to expand the school nurse program, implement best practices and procedures and increase professional development opportunities.
“Ms. Chambers provides valuable, informed insights to our operational leadership in order to develop the best recommendations possible for our school nurse program, which has led to increased staffing and clinic hours to better serve students and staff,” Dr. Hightower said. “We can turn to her whenever we have questions about health issues affecting schools and communities at the national or state level and know she will provide well-researched data and medical opinions, as well as her own perspective.”
Ms. Chambers, a graduate of Kennesaw State University, is a member of Georgia Association of School Nurses, Professional Association of Georgia Educators and the Service League of Cherokee County.