Boone County School Nurse Named National Nurse of the Year
Second West Virginian Receives National Nurse Honors

January 23, 2002

Donna Sue Peros of Boone County has been named the National School Nurse of the Year by the National Association of School Nurses, Inc. (NASN). According to NASN, this award acknowledges “excellence in school nursing practice and leadership in school health.”  

This is the second time in six years that West Virginia has had a national winner in the competition. In 1996, Tucker County school nurse Denise Reese received the award.  

Peros was recognized today by the West Virginia House of Delegates and was praised by House Education Chairman Jerry Mezzatesta for her “dedication to children and to promoting health education.”  

A school nurse/coordinator in Boone County since 1990, Peros has worked to improve school-aged children’s health by encouraging legislative activity to advance school nursing and improve staffing.  

She has written over $73,000 in grants for health initiatives in schools and has assisted with the development of two school-based health clinics in the Boone County Schools area. These clinics were crucial because they provided healthcare to children in a community that would have otherwise been neglected due to transportation problems and lack of availability.  

“It is a great accomplishment for yet another West Virginia school nurse to receive this distinguished honor,” said State Superintendent Dr. David Stewart. “This award reaffirms our longstanding commitment to improved health care and health education for children.”  

Peros graduated from Morris Harvey College with an associate’s degree in nursing. She also holds bachelor’s degrees from West Virginia State College and WVU-Tech, as well as a master’s in community health from West Virginia University. She currently teaches a course at West Virginia State College entitled “Student Health Problems.” The course is described as a unique and enlightening view of school nursing to students who are future classroom teachers.  

Her recent honors include: induction into the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nurses; 2001 recipient of the West Virginia School Nurse of the Year; and President-elect of the West Virginia Association of School Nurses.  

Dubbed a “true champion of school nursing” by the national association, Peros was lauded for personally contacting local legislative leaders to advocate better legal support and staffing for school nurses.  

She will be honored by her colleagues at the NASN 34th annual conference June 30-July 3 in Orlando, Florida. For more information about the West Virginia school nurse and other school health programs, contact Lenore Zedosky, executive director, Office of Healthy Schools, West Virginia Department of Education, 304-558-8830.

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