School Nurse (RN) of the Year
Jean Blackman, RN, ADN
Darlington County School District
For the past 25 years, Jean Blackman has provided health services for the Darlington County School District. Currently, she provides direct health services for three schools and also serves as her school district’s Lead Nurse.
Mrs. Blackman is always prepared for the daily challenges that she faces because she is genuinely determined to provide excellent services and she continually updates her knowledge and skills through formal as well as informal professional development opportunities. Whether it is saving a choking child, advocating for students with severe allergies, organizing staff wellness activities, supporting and empowering a fellow
nurse, comforting a student with a minor injury, or seeking out dental services, Mrs. Blackman exhibits prudent judgment and competent skills. She has earned the trust of students, parents, staff and school nurses.
Mrs. Blackman believes that data speaks volumes. At the schools
where she works she tracks information related to student encounters, chronic health conditions,
screening referrals, and injuries. Other nurses in the district are required to collect the same data. Mrs.
Blackman uses the data to keep administrators informed about the types of services that school nurses
are providing, identify opportunities for improving health services, and support staffing requests. Mrs.
Blackman and the other school nurses in Darlington County are recognized as key contributors to
Darlington County’s high student academic performance levels and high graduation rates.
Colleagues and parents describe Mrs. Blackman as patient, kind, extremely efficient, trusted, dependable, responsible, fair, humble, loving, generous, selfless, and professional. They report that she has the ability to make each person she helps feel like they are the only one in the world at that moment. She listens to every detail no matter how big or small and will work to find a solution to each individual’s problem no matter how much of her time that may involve. She is always willing to lend not one but two hands, and always wears a beautiful smile. Her stature is small, but her spirit and compassion are large.
Under her leadership, nurses meet to discuss best practices for helping students achieve desired health outcomes and all nurses are certified American Heart Association CPR and First Aid Instructors.
In addition to her work within the district, Mrs. Blackman finds the time to assist with educating future teachers at Coker College and Francis Marion University, volunteer with the Boy Scouts, and train with the United Methodist Committee on Relief ’s Early Response Team for disaster response.
Mrs. Blackman’s supervisor describes her as a self-starter who needs very little supervision. He notes that she confronts tasks, no matter how large, with confidence, and collaborates effectively across disciplines to provide resources that are needed for the common interests of children.