An Upper Arlington resident recently was named Ohio School Nurse of the Year by the Ohio Association of School Nurses.

An Upper Arlington resident recently was named Ohio School Nurse of the Year by the Ohio Association of School Nurses.

Carol Lynne O'Neil is a registered nurse at Columbus City Schools.

Today's school nurses do more than bandage cuts and bruises or deal with tummy aches, she said.

"Many of our kids have a lot of complex health needs," she said. "There is no quick Band-Aid for some of the situations we assist our students and families in."

O'Neil lives in Upper Arlington with her husband, David, daughter, Erin, and son, Ryan.

She works as a school nurse at Trevitt Elementary for two days a week and with diabetic students and their families for three days a week as the Columbus school district's diabetes resource nurse.

Nominated by her peers, O'Neil received her award at the OASN state conference, held April 20-22 in Cleveland.

"I was very humbled by the award," she said. "It was very touching because we all work very hard at our jobs, meeting a lot of challenging needs for kids in our districts and their families."

O'Neil was an infectious disease clinical nurse specialist for 20 years; she has been a school nurse for the past nine years.

"There has been a drastic change in the health needs of our students," she said. "In 2000, we had eight diabetic students, while now we care for 200. We have kids on ventilators, multiple-handicapped children and some with seizure disorders.

"The complexity of the student health needs has definitely increased," she said. "The social and financial state of our population is also not that strong, so access to health care creates multiple issues we are working with as well."

As the diabetes resource nurse, O'Neil assists with daily care, coordination and management and provides resources and education to other school nurses, staff, students and families.

She serves as the National Association of School Nurses facilitator to provide diabetes education to other school nurses and is a member of the Central Ohio Diabetes Association Youth Board.

"One of the biggest things we do as a school nurse is to treat the whole child," O'Neil said. "We look at their social, mental, physical and environmental needs and try to coordinate their care with their families and health-care providers.

"We do whatever we can to help a child be successful in school, which is what we do at all age levels," she said.

O'Neil served on the board of the Central Ohio School Nurse Association for seven years in various capacities. She also is a member of the NASN and the Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society of Nursing.

At Columbus City Schools, she is a member of the Disaster Planning Team; has been involved in collaborative research projects with Nationwide Children's Hospital; developed a health services website to house health forms and information; is on the Forms and Practices Committee and is a CPR/first-aid instructor.