Mercy Health Love County - News

School Nurse Brings Health Focus to Kids

Posted on Thursday, September 15th, 2011


Temp in the A Range: School nurse Sheila Nipp, R.N., take the temperature of Turner School third grader Luke O'Dell. 

Nurse Wears All School Colors: School nurse Sheila Nipp, R.N., center, visits with Marie Ross, R.N., hospital director of nursing (left) and clinic nurse Teresa Steen, R.N.


Mercy Health/Love County has hired Sheila Nipp, R.N., to enhance children’s health as a school nurse. 

The school nurse is a new community service of the hospital/clinic in partnership with the area Health Department.
“It’s great for us to solve health issues at school,” said Marie Ross, R.N., hospital director of nursing.
Nipp’s schedule takes her to schools in Marietta on Monday and Thursday; Turner on Tuesday; Thackerville on Wednesday; and Greenville on Friday.
She spends a full day at each stop.
During her first week, Nipp came to the aid of students with conditions as varied as diabetes, asthma, and nausea.
She also read school policies on health-related issues and reviewed immunization records.
As a registered nurse, she is licensed to assess patients and provide basic first aid. She will call parents when the child needs to go home or to the doctor, or call an ambulance for emergency cases.
“It’s nice to have someone with more training in this area than us,” said Turner School Superintendent Leslie Christian.
 “The school nurse is a screener and she alerts parents to follow up on what she is seeing. If a student has a hard time hearing, she can perform a hearing test. If a child is falling asleep in class, that could be a sign of diabetes. What she does is a timesaver in preparing for a doctor’s visit to confirm what’s gone wrong or to refer for testing,” Ross said.
But the school nurse’s major role, Ross stressed, will be educator.
 “She is a liaison between the school, the community, the hospital, and the health department. She will try to prevent health problems or prevent existing problems from becoming more serious by education of parents and teachers and providing information to students about how to stay healthy,” Ross said.
Nipp said she expects to teach health and fitness practices in the classrooms of all age groups and to draw on speakers from the Health Department and the hospital.
“She will be able to train school staff in administration of students’ medications and in dealing with public health emergencies,” said Mendy Spohn, Area Health Department Administrator.
Also, said Richard Barker, hospital administrator, Nipp will partner with the Healthy and Fit Advisory Committee of each school as the committees create healthy food and physical activity opportunities for better health.
Nipp is rapidly filling a notebook with the names of people she has met so far at the hospital, clinic, health department, and four school districts.
By the end of the year, she may be the most recognizable adult in Love County.
“Teaching is real appealing to me. I spent several years in home health care. You do a lot of teaching to your patients. That instilled in me the desire to teach,” Nipp said.
When schools are not in session, Nipp will engage in additional training and perform nursing duties at the hospital, Ross said.
The former Sheila Pierce was born in Ardmore and lived most of her life in Love County.
She now makes her home in Leon, where she has raised daughters Erica Nipp, 22, and Caly Nipp, 16; and son Kyle Nipp, 11.
Sheila Nipp became a licensed practical nurse in 1999 and graduated from Murray State College’s R.N. program in 2009. 
She has nursing experience in doctors’ offices, home health care, and a hospital.
“I am going into this job learning to be an asset to the community and the school districts. I expect to be helpful and am looking forward to a good year,” Nipp said.