Kristen Anderson is a School Nurse for the Redwood Area School District in Minnesota. Kristen shares the nursing load with Cheryl Mertens, and both of them work with students at all levels. They alternate roles, spending one week at a time at Reede Gray Elementary School and then a week at Redwood Valley Middle School and High School.
Have you always wanted to be a nurse?
I knew I wanted to help people. Nursing was always the direction I wanted to head. I earned a bachelors degree in nursing, as well as certification and licensing as a registered nurse, a public health nurse and a school nurse. I served in the hospice program at the Redwood Area Hospital from 10 years before I became a School Nurse.
Did you like becoming a School Nurse?
I jumped at the chance. I’ve always wanted to work with kids. Having spent more than a decade serving people at the end of their life, I opted to make the move to working with the other end of the health spectrum. Now I’m providing care for those who are at the beginning of life. I’m helping people in their younger years and having an affect early on.
What’s a typical day like for you?
I work with injuries and illnesses and administer medications to those with chronic health concerns. I do hearing and vision screenings, and refer students onto the appropriate medical care provider if there is something more serious. I also provide health education for students, staff and parents
What’s the best part of being a School Nurse?
Being there for them in their time of need gives me a sense of fulfilment. The smiles on the faces of those who need that help are a great reward.
How does life as an Australian School Nurse compare? Would you like to share a day in your life as a School Nurse?
How do you go about helping improve the health and wellbeing of students? What’s your biggest challenge? What support do you need to do a better job as a School Nurse?
We’re creating a new feature that recognises and celebrates the good work of School Nurses around Australia. Each month we’d like to interview a dedicated School Nurse.
Ideally the questions and answers will reveal some unexpected insights that will encourage greater communication and benefit other School Nurses.
If you’re interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a quick and easy phone interview.