I am a school administrator who has worked with a variety of committed and skilled school nurses throughout the years. However, I currently work with a most amazing person, Penny Bailey, who personifies the true nursing professional. We both serve students and families at an urban school for the deaf and hard of hearing. Penny impresses me daily with her calm and caring approach in the midst of serious illness and significant issues resulting from families living in poverty. She offers support and charity that go far beyond her job description. Penny has devoted hours to learning American Sign Language to better understand her patients. She speaks with parents at length about healthy foods, best practices, ways to speak with pediatricians, and offers evening workshops to develop parent skills in advocacy. The students look to her for comfort and for help understanding their medical needs. She offers this and more to her students and colleagues. If you followed her around for just one day, you would be exhausted at the many different activities she is involved with on behalf of deaf students and their families.
—Nominated by Nancy Maguire Heath