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DNP graduate wins nurse of the year for Houston school district

June 28, 2013

Loyola University New Orleans Doctor of Nursing Practice graduate Violet Clarke ’13 is helping children at Cesar E. Chavez High School in Houston, Texas, achieve health so they can achieve their dreams. For her efforts as a school nurse caring for more than 2,850 students, Clarke won the secondary school nurse of the year award this month presented by the Houston Independent District High Schools.

The entire Houston Independent School District serves more than 203,000 students and is the largest school district in Texas and the seventh largest in the nation.

“The fulfilling portion of my job is to be able to work with students, parents and teachers to provide the necessary care the students need so that they will be able to accomplish their goals of graduating from high school and move on to college or any profession they may desire,” Clarke said. That's especially important as Chavez High School is located in a lower socioeconomic neighborhood of southeast Houston.

Clarke said her D.N.P. degree from Loyola gave her the training to utilize research, statistics and leadership skills—especially in her focus on the latest evidence-based medicine when it comes to caring for students who are diabetic, overweight, asthmatic or have special needs.

“We are thrilled with the honor and award bestowed on Dr. Clarke who was in Loyola’s second DNP graduating class. It is obvious that the community recognizes the importance of a rigorous and scholarly approach in designing programs that meet the health needs of our secondary school populations,” said Ann H. Cary, Ph.D., M.P.H, R.N., professor and director of the Loyola School of Nursing.

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