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School Nurses - Working for a Safer Future for our Children

Julia Groom  | Published on 7/22/2019
School Nurses—Working for a Safer Future for our Children. 

Diabetes In Schools

A passion for diabetes education, and for helping people who have diabetes, led Jackie McManemin to the Virginia Diabetes Council Schools Committee.

As a certified diabetes educator and a registered nurse, working in the Fairfax County Health Department, Jackie understood the critical need to have a comprehensive, systematic approach to manage students with Type 1 diabetes in the school system

Thanks to her leadership, and the tireless efforts of the volunteers who work with her, the committee has made two major accomplishments this year.

The first was updating the 2019 Diabetes Medical Management Plan (DMMP) https://www.virginiadiabetes.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=947464&module_id=327026. The DMMP gives orders for school nurses and providers on when and how to treat students with Type 1 diabetes, and outlines an emergency response plan. The committee is in the process of collecting feedback on the plan, and will have a new update in 2021.

The second goal was to launch the LEARNS (Lions Empowering and Aiding Regional Nurses in Schools) Pilot. The pilot is targeting elementary schools in 40 school divisions to provide a comprehensive, online training platform for school nurses and school staff. The VDC Schools Committee partnered with the Virginia Lions Club, International Lions Club Foundation, Virginia Diabetes Council and the Virginia Coordinating Body and received grant funding to support the pilot. The diabetes education training program, Salus Education, will be distributed to participating counties upon receipt of their application. The interactive training program allows school nurses and staff to work at their own pace, ensures an equitable experience among all participants, and serves as ongoing professional development in the area of diabetes (nurses can earn CEs!).

The 2019 pilot is limited to elementary schools, but Jackie and her committee hope if the venture is successful, it will be extended to all school districts in Virginia and include elementary, middle and high school students.

Looking forward, what is Jackie's vision for the future of the VDC Schools Committee? “Well, she said, “ I’d love to see a webinar series on our website platform featuring guest speakers sharing knowledge, education and resources for school nurses across the Commonwealth.” When I asked Jackie what it would take to get that accomplished she said “ We just need a few more hands—volunteers who have some background in diabetes and a desire to help—and school nurses!”

If you have the passion, and an hour or so a month, come find out what it’s all about! You can email Jackie at jackie@virginiadiabetes.org