Fairbanks North Star
Borough School District
Lori Schneider is the Director of Nursing Services for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. She was recently recognized for her passion for nursing. On April 29th, the Alaska School Nurses Association selected Schneider as the 2017 Alaska State School Nurse of Excellence. She has been involved in the practice of nursing for over 30 years and a school nurse since 2009. After working for many years as an operating room nurse, Lori decided it was time for a change. She had no idea what she was looking for, but by default, answered an advertisement for a school nurse position, and landed the job with no school nursing experience. While going from a hospital nurse to a school nurse wasn’t exactly the change she had in mind, she did learn that working with patients who are asleep or heavily medicated is quite different than working with middle school students! Her first job as a school nurse was in a middle school with a population of nearly 700 adolescents. Lori says those early days were a challenge to keep her head above water, while she quickly learned that school nursing was not just band-aids.
Lori points out that school nursing is often about the social and emotional needs of the students. In addition to the mandated requirements, school nurses have many other roles, including identifying students at risk, being case managers, social workers, and mothers. Though her current role as a Director takes her away from the direct interactions with students, Lori says that is the part about the job she enjoys (and now misses) the most.
Now she likes to put her energy towards being a support and advocate for other school nurses. Lori believes every child needs a nurse; all day and every day. She spent this past weekend creating hand made note-cards for each and every school nurse in her district, to express her appreciation for what they do and is happily celebrating National School Nurses Week with the recognition of Cathy Nichols, her nominee for Extra Special Support Staff Person for the month of May. Lori pushes for the recognition of school nurses, and uses every opportunity to educate her community about what school nurses do for students.
If she were to give advice to a person just entering the profession, she would tell them to be patient with themselves, and remember that every day is a learning experience. CareDox has proven to be a comprehensive tool that helps make the learning curve easier, and Lori has been a leader in implementing the software in her school district, noting her appreciation that CareDox works to meet the needs of school nurses on a personal level.
She sees every interaction with a student as an opportunity to provide a service.
We wish you a Happy National School Nurse Day!