Local Nurse among ‘greatest’ in nationwide competition

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Kristy Gorman tirelessly advocates for children, and her colleagues at Essex Elementary School say she has had a strong and positive effect in just the one year she has been a nurse there.

In addition to normal nursing duties like bandaging scraped knees, measuring sugar levels of diabetic students and tube feeding those with more severe medical needs, Gorman works with state social service agencies to provide needed food, clothing and mental health services for children and families. She also has the staff at Essex participating in a healthy eating contest.

Lauded for her diligence inside the school and throughout Baltimore County’s school district, Gorman is now

receiving notice from the outside as well. She is the state finalist in the Children’s Advil, Children’s Robitussin and Children’s Dimetapp nationwide contest, which seeks to find “America’s Greatest School Nurse.”

“It’s an honor to be a finalist for Maryland and to represent school health in a national contest,” she said.

Officials began to accept nominations earlier this year. One school nurse from each state will be selected as a finalist and receive $500 and a chance to win a summer vacation.

The public is invited to vote for the finalists until April 16, and the winner will be announced on May 5.

“I was completely surprised when I got the call. I wasn’t aware that my school administrators even nominated me for this contest,” Gorman said. “It was a pleasant surprise. I am humbled by the nomination and it reinforces that I work for wonderful people who go above and beyond to recognize their staff.”

Gorman has been a nurse for 12 years and says she loves her profession.

Her decision to become a nurse occurred after she visited the mother of a close friend who had been hospitalized. Gorman was intrigued by the complex needs of her friend’s mother’s care and how the family needed the clinical and emotional support of the medical staff.

“This feeling did not go away. My family encouraged me to apply to nursing school and even helped pave my career path after graduation,” she said. “I went on to get my graduate degree in leadership and management in the healthcare profession and obtained my teaching certification. Every step of my career

has involved developing close relationships with patients and their families.”

Gorman obtained her BSN and MS from the University of Maryland School of Nursing and in addition to her job at Essex Elementary, she also works as an oncology infusion nurse at a local hospital.

“If you have compassion and a desire to help those in their most vulnerable moments, this is the career for you. It is a privilege to work with patients and families who need not only clinical care but emotional support,” she said. “Sometimes all a patient or family member needs is someone to listen and to know that they have been heard.”

As voting for Greatest School Nurse heats up, Gorman offered a thought on why voters should select her.

“I truly love what I do. I work in a great state, in a great county and for an outstanding school with wonderful staff,” she said. “We are a team at BCPS and Essex Elementary. Voting for me would be voting for us.”

To cast a vote for Gorman or for more information about the contest, visit: www.americasgreatestschoolnurse.com