MINNESOTA’S 2023 SCHOOL NURSE OF THE YEAR
JOLIE HOLLAND, RN LSN PHN BSN BA
The School Nurse Organization of Minnesota (SNOM) is pleased to announce Jolie J. Holland, RN LSN PHN BA BSN, District School Nurse for the MAWSECO Special Education Cooperative (ISD 0938), as Minnesota’s School Nurse of the Year! This award publicly recognizes school nurses in Minnesota by annually honoring one school nurse who demonstrated excellence in school nursing practice and leadership in school health.
Jolie has worked as an ICU/CCU nurse in Huntington Beach CA and St. Cloud Hospital MN, a Childbirth Educator, Domestic Violence instructor and a Chemical Dependency nurse. With encouragement from her mother, Evie Holland, one of the first Licensed School Nurses in the area, she became the district school nurse at Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted in 2006 and later added MAWSECO Special Ed Coop to her list. She cared for students from 3 years to 21 years old for 18 years, retiring in 2023. She is now the district LSN at MAWSECO. She has served as the Legislative Chair of the SNOM Legislative Committee for many years and worked tirelessly to advocate for her vision that EVERY student in Minnesota has access to a Licensed School Nurse! She has testified numerous times before MN House and Senate committees for a variety of issues and, through SNOM, has worked to have bills enacted such as the Medication Destruction Bill, One School One Nurse to replace the outdated 1986 law, a permanent LSN at the Minnesota of Education, and to relay the message that half of mental health is HEALTH! School nurses are also trained in mental health, medications, drug side effects, and contributing factors to mental health issues. They bridge the gap for students between education and health. WCCO, KSTP, and the Star Tribune have also featured her on school nursing issues.
Brad Sellner, the former Superintendent of HLWW, writes, “Having been in education for 30 years, 20 in which I served as a school administrator, I have heard from many of my colleagues about the amazing work of their school nurse. So, knowing that, I will start with a thank you to all school nurses. However, in my mind, there is one school nurse that rises to the top of the list when it comes to dedication, compassion, knowledge, and passion for the work of the position of a school nurse. That nurse is Jolie Holland.”
Melissa Hanson, the Executive Director at MAWSECO, states, “Jolie’s impact on the field of school nursing extends well beyond the borders of the HLWW District and MAWSECO. As the Chair of the SNOM Legislative Committee for the past several years, Jolie’s persistent approach to this work has gotten us closer to being able to guarantee licensed school nurses are present in all school districts, regardless of the size of the student population. It goes without question that Jolie has made significant contributions to the field of school nursing. She is giving of her knowledge, experience, and time to mentor and support fellow school nurses and those she supervises and displays a passion for improving access to medical services and educational materials for families, students, and staff that is inspirational to those around her. Jolie has set an example in how to give back and serve others in the field through her dedicated professional organization involvement. She is highly regarded by her colleagues, as well as others she interacts with including parents, educational staff, and administrators for her leadership and service.”
Many students will remember her for her cups of special tea and hot chocolate…when they could take a break from a stressful day to relax in the recliner in her office to discuss problems and work with counseling staff to support them. The joys of her life are her two daughters, Sirena & Raquel, as well as Isabelle Norsk, her equine family member pictured above, and her dear friends who give such loving support.