For almost thirty years, our family hosted Thanksgiving that included extended family and friends. My kids would laugh at me when I insisted on setting the Thanksgiving table a week before the holiday. It was a joyful time in our household and evokes the sweetest memories for me of our close-knit family that has now grown up.

I began hosting Thanksgiving when I was in college. The tradition started one year when my parents and younger sister headed to Florida for a long Thanksgiving weekend, so I had my beloved grandmother to my attic apartment. I don’t know how she…


We have to ask ourselves, is it safe for school buildings to open this fall? We don’t have a clear answer. Nevertheless, schools appear to be fearfully moving forward to welcome students back for face-to-face learning despite increasing COVID19 cases and community spread . Our new chilling reality is that schools are the next frontline of COVID-19 with school nurses as the first responders.

I have been feeling a sense of foreboding and that we are being asked to do something profoundly unsafe. When I shared my perspective with The New York Times journalist, Apoorva Mandavilli, I summed up my…


School nurses have been industrious during COVID-19, using innovative skills to do one of the things we do best, providing information for our families. Everyone’s health literacy has been tested through the pandemic. The messaging from our most trusted institutions like the CDC has been confusing and ever-changing. As states have released vague return to school guidelines, it is clear that the details for keeping our students and staff safe will depend on each school district to create their own policies and procedures.

One of our newest school nurses, Toni Tomkins is using her unique skillset, making lists, charts, and…


This compelling letter is reprinted with permission by NJ School Superintendent Dr. David Aderhold. He has posed 91 questions that must be answered to safely prepare for schools to reopen in the fall. Dr. Aderhold shared his open letter in a Tweet to NJ Governor Phil Murphy. Here is the Tweet:

We Cannot Look in the Rearview Mirror: Preparing Our School Districts for Fall 2020

By Dr. David M. Aderhold

Superintendent of Schools, West Windsor — Plainsboro Regional School District & President of the Garden State Coalition of Schools

There are over 580 school districts, more than 2500 schools, and over 115,000 teachers serving more than 1.4 million students in New Jersey. Without clear guidance on how to prepare for the fall semester, public health will be compromised. The planning for September happens now. We cannot wait. We…


This is the detailed CDC guidance for re-opening America that was shelved by the White House. Nursing is political. We must protect our communities, especially when those in positions of power and decision making willfully ignore science, and refuse to follow public health principles.

The Associated Press obtained a 63-page document titled “Guidance for Opening Up America Again Framework” that is more detailed than other, previously reported segments of the guidance. The source was granted anonymity because they were not authorized to share the document with the press.

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6889330-Guidance-for-Opening-Up-America-Again-Framework.html


School nurses across the country are answering the call to serve in many ways during COVID19. In Camden, New Jersey, school nurses who can sew are making face masks, and those who can’t sew, either cut material or deliver supplies. It has been a wonderful collective effort initiated by Christa Varga, a school nurse with a passion for community service.

Below is Christa’s story, along with pictures of the school nurses working on the project. They may be physically distanced, but they are socially connected. This is a virtual sewing circle. …


Nursing is one of the shining stars during the time of COVID19. The response to the pandemic has generated an all hands on deck response to the unprecedented national emergency. As we all know, whether in a direct care role or providing nursing services in many other ways, the cumulative stress is taking a toll on nurses.

Rutgers University School of Nursing is providing a series of 7 free webinars directed at healing the healers. The series started on April 7 and continues through April 30th. The webinars will be archived for viewing at your convenience. …


School nurse and current President of the National Board for Certification of School Nurses, Deborah Pontius, posted a picture of herself wearing a face mask on Facebook. She is an expert quilter as well, so she is also busy using her talents making masks. Included in Deb’s Facebook post were directions on how to put them on, take them off, and care for them. Here is Deb’s post, including the picture that caught my attention! Thank you Deb, for all that you do to make, educate and model information about our “now normal.”

Deborah Pontius, MSN, RN, NCSN, FNASN

Now that everyone is recommended to wear…


I am worried about our youngest children who cannot grasp the complexity of the COVID19 pandemic, but see the fear and concern from their parents and caregivers. In my search for something positive to share with kids and families, I found wonderful graphics from Operation Safe. The series of child-friendly messages are now available in 14 languages. Given that COVID19 is spreading around the globe, please help share these comforting and empowering messages to children far and wide.

Thank you Jonathan Wilson, for this gift for kids across the globe.

Anti-COVID19 Information for Children

OpSAFE International’s mission is to provide…


There will be lessons learned from the pandemic of COVID19 that we will only begin to understand once this is in our rear-view mirror. In the meantime, we are hunkered down and wondering what our world will be like once the curve is flattened. Life as we knew it has ground to a halt as the virus spreads. People are sick and dying, and the healthcare workforce is putting their own lives on the line without proper protection.

Social distancing is now a term that is beginning to filter into the COVID19 lexicon. But how do you conform to social…

ROBIN COGAN

I am the "Relentless School Nurse" - Advocate for student safety, health, and well-being. I value relationships & the power of social media to repair our world.

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