Nurses of Note 2023: The District School Nurse


PerfectServe’s Nurses of Note awards program honors nurses who deserve recognition for their service, sacrifice, and devotion to their patients and colleagues. For the third year of the Nurses of Note program, PerfectServe is highlighting nurses who’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty and whose resilience, creativity, and determination inspire others to do the same.

These honorees are outstanding representatives from the field of nursing, and the stories they share help paint a picture of the difference they make for their patients and communities every single day. Of the 200-plus winners from this year’s program, we’ve selected a handful to engage with more in-depth profiles that will be published throughout the year. These are their stories.

The District School Nurse: Chelsea Snider, BSN, RN-LSN | Columbus, OH

The role of a district school nurse is one of a variety of tasks, all of which involve detailed care for a large number of students inside a public school district. For Chelsea Snider, District School Nurse—the only school nurse—for the Hamilton Local School District in Columbus, OH, this means taking care of 3,100 students.

For Chelsea, each and every school day starts at the local high school. She stays there until all of her diabetic students have had lunch. She then makes her way to the middle school, but the entire time, she’s on call for the preschool, elementary school, and intermediate school. She’s an educational aide at the elementary and intermediate schools that complete day-to-day clinic tasks, so she’s also in constant communication with the clinics in those buildings. Chelsea is also the Assistant Varsity Volleyball Coach at the high school. Let’s just call her a jack of all trades!

Chelsea started as a school nurse in 2021, but before that, she was a nurse at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH) in Columbus. She knew she wanted to shift into nursing for schools because of her experience completing clinical hours at a nearby high school. Though she worked at NCH for seven years, she always hoped she could return to her alma mater as both the school nurse and volleyball coach. In this case, dreams really do come true!

Just as all industries had to adjust to the pandemic, the school systems faced a series of unique challenges. Since she joined the school system at the tail end of the pandemic, she still had to encourage students and staff to adhere to COVID precautions. This meant contact tracing and quarantine protocols, and Chelsea was in charge of communicating those needs to district administrators, students, and families.

For Chelsea, the hardest part of her job is being the only school nurse for over 3,000 students—she never knows when she’ll have to drop what she’s doing to drive to another school. Interestingly, though, Chelsea also considers this to be one of the best parts of her role. She loves interacting with students, and she particularly loves when they tell her that she’s providing a safe space for them in the clinic. She also thoroughly enjoys helping and teaching her diabetic students to become more comfortable with their diagnosis. It’s a lot to keep up with, and Chelsea may take the cake with this year’s Nurses of Note honorees when it comes to having the most patients!

Thank You

Chelsea, thank you for being a provider, teacher, and supporter to the children in your school district and community. It reminds us once again that nurses come in many different forms and take care of many so many different kinds of patients. We’re honored to recognize you as one of this year’s Nurses of Note, and we’re so thankful you shared your story.


To learn more about Chelsea’s nursing story, we asked her a few additional questions:

Why did you choose to become a nurse?

I grew up babysitting, which led to my love of working with children. I chose to play volleyball in college and started wanting to be a high school math teacher. I quickly changed paths and switched to studying biology so that I could work in the hospital setting. My goal was to work at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Well, two degrees later, I became a nurse and started working there! I love the role of helping sick children get better!

What is the biggest lesson you learned while serving as a nurse throughout the pandemic?

During the pandemic, I was still at NCH and worked in the COVID unit. Serving as a nurse throughout the pandemic taught me the importance of collaboration, as everything was changing so quickly, and we needed clear and concise collaboration with all team members to provide the best care for our patients.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to your younger self about working in the healthcare industry?

One piece of advice for my younger self is to take the time to get to know your patients and families. As nurses, our jobs can be very task-oriented, which fits my personality to a T. As I got more familiar with my role, I could still complete my tasks while getting to know my patients and their families, and it made me so much better as a nurse.

What do you do to relax after a stressful day?

After a stressful day, I love to come home and relax by watching reality television with my husband, Matthew, and my two children.

What changes would you like to see in the nursing field of the future?

The most significant change I would like to see in the nursing field of the future is to improve staffing ratios and to set standardizations around them. Throughout clinicals—and even in my role now as a school nurse—I see the importance of having a lower nurse-to-patient/nurse-to-student ratio so that nurses can be the caring and compassionate souls they are. It would allow us to go above and beyond for all of our patients/students!

If you had to pick one song that describes you as a nurse, what would it be?

My song would be “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson. It describes me as a nurse. I take pride in my leadership qualities and “go-getter” attitude. Any challenges I face, I use to help better myself in the future.

Make sure to follow our blog as we publish profiles about more of our amazing Nurses of Note honorees throughout the year! For more about Nurses of Note 2023, check out the full list of winners.

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