2010-07-22 / Youth

Ramsden attends nurse conference

Port Aransas school district nurse Melissa Ramsden is home from the 2010 School Nurse Conference, calling it a “wonderful experience.”

Her attendance at the 42nd annual conference of the National Association of School Nurses in Chicago was sponsored by the Port Aransas Education Foundation. Ramsden said the five-day conference offered more than 100 professional speakers, seven general sessions and more than 200 breakout sessions, as well as panel discussions and presentations “that addressed all aspects of school nursing practice.”

“The most current professional school nursing knowledge and skills in the specialty practice of school nursing was all around me, and it truly was exciting,” Ramsden said.

She said her particular interest was in sessions addressing vision screening, leadership, student drug and alcohol use, special education, mental health services, and asthma. “After each session or presentation, shared thoughts, ideas, stories and some laughs with my colleagues who experience the same joys and challenges that I have over the past 10 years as a district school nurse,” Ramsden said.

“Without question, I do feel that I gained insight into innovative ways that school nurses make a difference, and new strategies to improve school nursing practice,” she said.

The conference was held June 29- July 3.

Ramsden thanked the Port Aransas Education Foundation for making the trip possible.

The Education Foundation was formed in 2006 “to create exceptional and enriching educational experiences for students in the Port Aransas ISD.” It is a non-profit organization that annually awards grants to teachers and to the school district based on applications approved by a board of directors. The major fundraiser is an event called “Mardi Gras in October;” the foundation will also benefit from donation of funds being raised by tours of the Susan Castor Beach House this summer. A portion of the proceeds from tours of the Southern Living Idea House on Padre Island last year went to the Port Aransas Education Foundation, as well.

Port Aransas Education Foundation grants to teachers this year, announced in April, totaled $65,368.79. Many of the grants were for teacher training or professional education, such as the conference attended by Ramsden. Other funds went for field trips, a sound system for high school drama and computer software and hardware.

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