Celebrating school nurses continues as we highlight a third nurse from Arizona’s school communities, Halyna Chirovsky, RN, BSN, NCSN, B.Ed, a nationally certified school nurse for Catalina Foothills High School.
I have been a School Nurse for almost 19 years. I started school nursing in 2002 with the Tempe Elementary School District at Scales Technology Academy, then relocated to Tucson in 2010, where I have been the Catalina Foothills High School Nurse since 2010. I have been Nationally Certified as a School Nurse since 2007.
Nurses have a lot of options when deciding where to work. How did you choose to work for a local school?
I have worked with children since I was 16. I started out as a camp counselor, then as a Saturday Ukrainian Language teacher; then organized and ran 2 Preschools in Chicago, IL. I completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing and worked in Pediatrics. When we moved to Canada, I chose to complete a Bachelor of Education Degree and taught in the Public Elementary Schools in Ottawa, Ontario for several years. My nursing specialty was Pediatrics, and when we returned to the US in 2002, it just made sense to combine my two careers and loves: education and nursing, to become a School Nurse. I also enjoy the school schedule that works well with our children’s school schedules and my husband’s teaching schedule.
What motivates you to make a difference for your students and community?
I see my work as a vocation to help students stay in school and achieve their highest potential, by breaking down any health barriers and guiding them through any needed accommodations, giving support, and providing education to students, staff, and parents. My goal is to act as a link between parents, students, and the community, and to help keep everyone in the school and community safe and supported, especially during these unusual COVID Pandemic times.
What is one thing you’d like the community to know about school nurses?
School Nurses are especially talented nurses that work in a certified specialty of nursing that is multi-faceted and requires flexibility, quick thinking, multi-tasking and professionalism when dealing with students, families, and the community. On any given day a school nurse can work with over 70 students with a variety of health and psychological issues. There are no appointments and one never knows what issue will walk through the door or arise by radio, email, or phone.