Sonoma County Office of Education

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SCOE Nurse Honored for Leadership by State Nursing Organization

03/01/2019 -

Donna BassettDonna Bassett, a school nurse in SCOE’s Special Education Division, was honored March 1 as the state's top awardee for the Excellence in School Nursing Administration Award by the California School Nurse’s Organization (CSNO).

Donna was chosen by her peers from over 300 school nurses in the northern region of the CSNO. She was recognized for her excellence in clinical practice and for building the capacity of over 100 new school nurses by implementing and facilitating the first CSNO School Nurse Academy program, designed to mentor new school nurses. Additionally, Donna maintains leadership positions on state and local school nursing boards; is involved in community outreach; and assisted students who were fire victims by finding scholarship money from Job’s Daughters to help their families. She’s also a founding member of the California School Nurse Association.

“CSNO is very proud of Donna’s contributions to school nursing, the community and the students she serves,” read a statement by her organization.

“It’s a huge honor,” said Donna about the award. She credited the close-knit team of nurses she works with at SCOE. “To me, it's a reflection of how well the nursing group I’m a part of has done and their impact on our schools and students.”

She has served as a school nurse since 1990 and says she is passionate about mentoring other nurses. In the unique job of school nursing, new professionals are asked to learn a lot “on the fly.” Mentoring from other school nurses is what helps them succeed, said Donna.

School nursing goes beyond student health, Donna explained. School nurses are key players in fostering school attendance, and reducing absenteeism and suspensions.

“Our nurses are such amazing advocates and they provide training and tools to help keep kids with health needs at school,” she said.