Dee Dee Chewning School Nurse Administrator Award
Sharon P. Lothridge, RN
Greenville County School District
Sharon Lothridge is a dedicated advocate for excellence in school nursing practice. She has 28 years of school nursing experience and 20 years of service as a school nurse administrator. Mrs. Lothridge began her school nursing career with Anderson School District One where she worked for 22 years before joining the Greenville County School District team. As a Nurse Supervisor in Greenville County, Mrs. Lothridge supervises 32 nurses who care for students in 27 schools.
Mrs. Lothridge is described by her supervisor as a strong leader with integrity, courage, initiative, energy, optimism, determination, self-awareness, and
the ability to handle stress. Nurses under her supervision describe her as knowledgeable, patient, supportive, kind, understanding, and always willing to help. Mrs. Lothridge facilitates needed changes in nursing practice in a positive way to enhance skill levels without diminishing performance by degrading nurses.
To encourage and support the nurses in her district, Mrs. Lothridge:
- Aided in the revision of Greenville County’s school nurse evaluation tool to facilitate an opportunity for self-reflection and growth;
- Assisted with the development of a nurse staffing model based on acuity levels; and
- Initiated a process for selecting a School Nurse (RN) and School Health LPN of the Year at the district level.
Mrs. Lothridge also organizes professional development opportunities and provides a school nurse calendar for Greenville County school nurses outlining duties to be completed each month and tips for special activities.
In addition to being a leader at the district level, Mrs. Lothridge is a leader for school nurses at the state and national levels.
At the state level, Mrs. Lothridge:
- Was instrumental in establishing the S.C. Association of School Nurses, served as the Association’s first president, and has maintained involvement by holding a variety of key leadership positions;
- Worked with the S.C. Board of Nursing School Nurse Work Group to develop Advisory Opinions and
Position Statements to clarify expectations for school nursing practice; and
- Served as a member of the School Nurse Program Advisory Committee for 26 years.
Mrs. Lothridge is a current member of the Annual School Nurse Conference Planning Committee. In addition to general committee work, she assists with the Mary Ellen Hatfield Scholarship fundraiser and coordination of the Exhibit Hall.
From a national perspective, Mrs. Lothridge is well known and respected. She was tapped by Presidents for the National Association of School Nurses on two occasions to assist with strategic planning and other activities to assure the health and longevity of the Association. Her wise insights and collaboration skills were noted as
Sharon Lothridge’s calm informed voice in the midst of chaos, insistence that nursing interventions be based on standards and supported by evidence, respect for her colleagues, and dedication to assuring the best possible care for students are evident in all aspects of her work. Mrs. Lothridge believes that every student deserves a competent school nurse and she admirably does her job to assure that end.