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Mastic Beach: School nurse now president of NYS Association of School Nurses

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The lead nurse for William Floyd schools is now president of the New York State Association of School Nurses (NYSASN).

Jacki O’Donnell’s peers elected her to serve as president of the group, a professional organization that aims to advance the practice of school nursing and enhance the educational success of students by promoting quality health services.

“Over the course of the past 14 months, school nurses have faced challenges never before seen in school nursing,” William Floy School District Superintendent Kevin M. Coster said. “Lead Nurse O’Donnell and her team of highly skilled nurses here at William Floyd continue to demonstrate what we have known all long – their vital importance to our district

“They care for our children on a daily basis, are experts in infection control and have become key members of William Floyd’s pandemic response team,” he added.

Moriches Elementary School nurse Teresa Ergul spoke of how inspiring O’Donnell, a registered nurse, has been, particularly while working on the front line during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As professional colleagues and co-workers, we are so proud and honored to know and work with Jacki O’Donnell,” said Egurl, who is treasurer of the NYSASN. “Jacki has been an inspiring and knowledgeable leader who works tirelessly to bring to the district and school nurses the latest state requirements, the newest programs available and state legislation that may affect student health.”

O’Donnell has been a school nurse with William Floyd for 27 years, including the last 17 as lead nurse. She supervises a staff of 13 nurses, coordinates health services for the district, conducts trainings, acts as a liaison to the county and state health departments, and is a consultant to the William Floyd community regarding health matters.

She has earned numerous accolades for her work, including NYSASN’s Judith Harrigan Founder’s Award for “exemplary service to NYSASN and the children of New York state,” the Suffolk County Association of School Nurses “Excellence in School Nursing Award” and SCOPE Education Services’ “Support Staff Service Award.”