Happy National School Nurse Day!

On School Nurses Day (and every day!), we’re so grateful for all the amazing work our school nurse partners do every day to keep students healthy.

We sat down with Nurse Ligaya Santos (affectionately known to her students as Nurse Happy), an incredible school nurse in the Planada School District, to learn more about her work, what she likes about working with Hazel and her health advice for students and families to stay in top shape this summer.

Tell us about your background.

I am a school nurse in Planada School District for 800 children, and a nurse practitioner in family medicine. I also have my degree in school health.

Why did you want to become a school nurse?

Healthy students learn best. I became a school nurse because I felt there was a need to help parents keep their students healthy to learn better at school.

What do you like most about your job?

I love both my jobs (school nurse and practitioner) – I have the best of both worlds. I have a very strong connection that I’ve established with the students of Planada Schools, as well as the parents and the school personnel. And as a practitioner I am able to empower parents to keep their families safe and healthy.

How do you work with Hazel?

Hazel has become a powerful partner in keeping and maintaining the health of the students at school. I love that Hazel connects with the parents first-hand and gets to know the families well when they start working in schools.

Hazel has been a very strong influence in decreasing absenteeism at school. Parents know they can rely on Hazel to look after the health of their students when they are not able to access health care outside of school.

What are 2-3 health tips every parent should know, especially heading into the summer?

I’ve been a school nurse for a while, and here are the best ways you can stay healthy:

  • Hand washing is the best way to ward off illness.
  • Making healthy food choices
  • Staying active daily

We’re partnering with the National Association of School Nurses to send 10 school nurses to the annual conference in Denver this summer. If you’re going, we’d love to see you there!