There’s no question that Martee Hawkins is a skilled school nurse — and now she has the credentials to prove it. After working as a nurse for 34 years, and a Canyons District nurse since 2009, Hawkins opted to voluntarily test her knowledge through the National Board for Certification of Nurses'
She is the first nurse in the District to take the test and pass with flying colors, earning a certification that’s akin to a teacher’s national certification.
“It feels great,” Hawkins said of her accomplishment. “Sometimes, in this job, it’s hard to measure your success because we are pretty overextended … Sometimes you feel like you don’t get the time you would like to spend on different issues, but it’s nice to know I’m on the right track and making the right decisions.”
The four-hour, 250-question NBCSN exam “represents a national standard of preparation, knowledge and practice,” according to the NBCSN Web site. The test covers the gamut of nursing practices, from ethical issues to disease prevention. The pass rate on the test is about 70 percent.
Nurses in Canyons District are responsible for writing health care plans for students with such issues as chronic disease, anaphylaxis, diabetes and seizure disorders. They work with parents, students and doctors to devise a strategy to address students’ needs. Then, they train school employees on how to care for the students on a daily basis, such as how to administer an EpiPen
School nurses also oversee health screenings
, such as vision and scoliosis checks, at their assigned schools and find resources for students who may need glasses but cannot afford them. It’s challenging work, Hawkins says, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. She oversees the student health needs at Jordan High, Eastmont Middle and Bell View, Alta View, Edgemont and Park Lane elementary schools.
“I love it when I can work with parents and students and have a good outcome — something where we work out a problem that has a good answer for everybody,” Hawkins says. “I enjoy that. I love the kids. I like looking at disease prevention and seeing what the community needs.”