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District schools nurse wins statewide award

Karen Natalie honored at School Health Association conference

By Lee Wardlaw lee@claytodayonline.com
Posted 5/25/23

After nearly two and a half decades of hard work, a Fleming Island woman has taken home state honors for Clay County.

Karen Natalie, a registered nurse who has worked for the County School …

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District schools nurse wins statewide award

Karen Natalie honored at School Health Association conference


Posted

After nearly two and a half decades of hard work, a Fleming Island woman has taken home state honors for Clay County.

Karen Natalie, a registered nurse who has worked for the County School District for 23 years, was selected as the State School Nurse of the Year at the Florida School Health Association’s annual conference at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando.

She was shocked to learn she had earned the honor.

“Surprise and shock. I just felt very humbled to be chosen, and it was a total surprise. In years past, they told people attending the conference that they were getting the award (beforehand), but they wanted (the element of surprise) to be there this year,” she said. 

The honor was a testament to Natalie’s commitment to a field requiring dedication, determination and grit. The award didn’t come without plenty of long hours for the nurse working for the School District since 1998.

“Just so many years of hard work and resilience, working in the school system for this many years and going from working at (Clay High) to the entire district as district nurse,” Natalie said.

She said the added attention was a bit unsettling, but she couldn’t help basking just a little bit.

“There are so many things just as worthy to me, but it’s humbling, and I appreciate being recognized. It feels so good after working with these students for so many years. These kinds of things (build) resiliency for me to do this every day and just hang on to keep working for these students,” she said.

Natalie served students at Clay High until 2019 before transitioning to her current assignment, where she is required to oversee the care of students at 21 schools.

Natalie’s is responsible for overseeing a significant operation with the District.

Some details of her day-to-day tasks include overseeing special education students and their care, which provides for filling their doctors’ orders and paperwork, covering schools in need of assistance when not enough nurses are available to work, attending meetings for student support, teaching first aid and CPR as a certified instructor.