Sue Burchill is student preceptor, registered nurse, and school nurse at Orchard Gardens Pilot Elementary School in Boston. We are students at MGH Institute of Health Professions (MGHIHP). This semester, our studies include a weekly clinical for our Community Health Nursing class where we are assigned to work with and observe Sue. Although Sue is not our direct preceptor in this clinical experience, she has opened her office and offered her time to teach us about nursing in the community, more specifically nursing in schools. Sue and her abilities inspire us. She is an amazingly competent and effective nurse who acts as a advocate and supporter of her students. Our own vision and expectations of our future careers as nurses has been positively influenced by Sue’s example. She not only provides care to her students, but she also builds a strong level of trust that increases her effectiveness in an environment in which at-risk students, despite their young age, face significant and complex challenges on a daily basis. Sue addresses each student’s potential rather than their limitations.
On any given morning, Sue’s office is brimming with the ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) Student Breakfast Club. Sue started this tradition in an effort to aid the children in correctly taking their medications and providing a structure that supports and celebrates the students and their learning differences. Sue manages to work with each individual child to support a healthy learning environment. Whether obtaining a grant to provide eyeglasses to students in need, or counseling parents on management of teenage violence, Sue advocates daily for her students in a hands-on, solution-oriented approach. Sue has expanded our expectations of the impact that people in the nursing profession can have on individual lives and, indeed, on an entire community. We fully expect that our experience meeting and working with Sue at Orchard Gardens will be a highlight of our MGHIHP education.
—Nominated by Jessica Pope, Elizabeth Balaconis,
Chandra Miller, Chelsey Andrea, Tanya Morales