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Chapin’s Yvonne Guerrero named 2022 EPISD School Nurse of the Year

(CHAPIN HIGH SCHOOL – May 11, 2022) ­ – Yvonne Guerrero’s passion for nursing and working with students, plus her hard work and flexibility during the pandemic earned her the coveted title of El Paso ISD’s School Nurse of the Year.

The Chapin registered nurse, selected the 2022 Nurse of the Year by her Nurse Leadership Team peers, earned the award as nurses across the country celebrate National School Nurse’s Day today.  

“Yvonne is a hard-working nurse who has built a good relationship with students, staff and parents,” said Norma Luna, EPISD’s director of health services. “She is a leader at her campus and helps mentor new nurses and nursing students. She is compassionate and patient with all those she encounters.

Guerrero started her school nurse career in EPISD more than 5 years ago at Chapin after serving four years as a neonatal nurse at the Hospitals of Providence. One of her mentors told her she’d make a great school nurse and she couldn’t have been happier following that path.

“My favorite part of school nursing is working with our students, their families, and our campus faculty and staff,” Guerrero said. “I see these students navigate their day-to-day situations, whether they are having a good or bad day.  Seeing the difference that I, as a nurse, can make in their lives is very rewarding. We truly become mentors to the students.”

The acknowledgement by her peers is especially meaningful to Guerrero, who also serves as a nurse preceptor to nursing students from the local universities and colleges and for new school nurses in the District.

“The nurses of our school district inspire me every day to work hard, so to have been recognized by them is truly a privilege,” Guerrero said. “I was surprised and thankful to have been named the School Nurse of the Year.  We don't do this job for recognition, we do it to help our schools and the community.”

The roles nurses have played in the schools in the past year has been even more critical for the health and safety of students and staff serving on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19. School nurses began rapid testing, contact tracing, and were able to provide up- to- date education to the community regarding the constantly changing guidelines for COVID-19. 

“In nursing school, we are taught that we must think critically and be flexible so that we may adapt to evolving and ever-changing situations,” Guerrero said. “We remained optimistic and continued to do our best to provide the best care to our students with chronic health conditions, students who presented to the health office with mental health or acute health conditions, and to be sure that all of our nursing duties – such as immunization compliance and hearing and vision screenings just to name a couple – were completed.”  

EPISD today celebrates and honors its school nurses. Take time to thank them and wish them a Happy School Nurse Day.

“School nurses are critical in all aspects of students' health,” Luna said. “They are leaders that help bridge healthcare and education and who advocate for quality student-centered care.”

Story by Reneé de Santos
Photos by Leonel Monroy