Behind the Scenes with a School Nurse

  • Michelle Shine There’s no question school nurses work hard every day to help ensure the health and wellness of every student in the districts they serve. Children find the school nurse’s office to be a quiet, safe place to rest and recover, and Queensbury High School Nurse Michelle Shine says she wouldn’t have it any other way.
    Shine is currently in her 10th year in the Queensbury Union Free School District. The former ER and occupational health nurse says the idea of working with students is what encouraged her to transition into a school setting. 
    As a high school nurse, Shine says every day is different, although her days start promptly at 7:15 a.m. with students who need morning medications before class. 
    “After that, it’s whatever comes my way, whether it be nose bleeds or injuries or any kind of mental ailments such as anxiety or depression,” Shine said. “It runs the gamut, and I’ve seen it all.”
    School nurses – there are five total in Queensbury – do much more than apply Band-Aids and take temperatures. They provide health care for students and staff, conduct screenings, track students’ health information, ensure immunizations are up to date, create and submit reports, assist with treatments for children who have chronic conditions or special health care needs, and promote healthy habits. 
    They also work with administrators, teachers and other staff to develop plans that support students’ physical, emotional and mental health. Sometimes, they’ll even work on health and fitness goals with faculty and staff. 
    “I started a ‘Biggest Loser’ competition with the high school staff, and it’s been very successful,” Shine said. “We did it earlier this school year and 28 people signed up. They lost about 300 lbs. total – it was amazing!” 
    Shine says the best part of her job is still what inspired her to begin this career path – the students. Before landing at QHS, she worked at both the Queensbury elementary and middle schools. 
    “It’s been nice because I’ve had these kids since elementary school and I’ve seen them grow,” Shine said. “It’s been a great experience to be able to move along with them, and I’ve been lucky in the sense that I’ve been able to move along with my two children, who are Queensbury students.”