The Colorado Association of School Nurses recently named Julie Thigpen of Vista PEAK Exploratory Colorado School Nurse of the Year! The award honors Thigpen’s demonstration of excellence in leadership, teamwork, vision, community partnership and innovation.
Previous to pursuing a career in school nursing, Thigpen nurtured infants in Neonatal Intensive Care Units. It wasn’t until she visited a few clinics in Aurora Public Schools that she realized her passion to serve students.
“People often say school nursing is ‘easy and all you do is apply Band-Aids,’ but I work harder most days in the school clinic than I did in the intensive care unit!” Thigpen said. “I never know what to expect each day at work and I love working with students and their families. My goal each day is to help students feel safe and healthy at school so they are able to focus in the classroom and achieve their goals.”
Nominations submitted by Thigpen’s peers describe her as someone who fosters a culture of wellness throughout her school--always with a smile.
“I was thrilled to learn Julie won the award and that I would be presenting it to her. I have known Julie since she entered school nursing and have observed the compassion, passion and advocacy she exhibits every day. It has been wonderful to see her become the exemplary nurse she is today. I hope she continues to grow and lead in her specialty field of school nursing. We are a unique aspect of nursing that is beginning to gain more respect throughout the medical and nursing worlds. Julie will be a great spokesperson, advocate and leader in our field while continuing to provide exceptional daily care for students, staff and parents in APS!” - Tammy Wollbrink, President, Colorado Association of School Nurses
In APS, we believe student achievement and growth are driven by a highly-effective and respected staff working as a team. We are thankful to have Thigpen on our team.