Judy Doran of MSAD 35 Named Maine 2023 School Nurse of the Year

Angie Bucker and Judy Doran

(Pictured [left] Angie Buker, President MASN [right] Judy Doran)

The Maine Association of School Nurses (MASN)  is proud to recognize Judy Doran of Maine School Administrative District 35 as Maine’s 2023 School Nurse of the Year. This annual award recognizes an outstanding Maine school nurse for their contributions to the school and community they serve. The award provides recognition to an individual who demonstrates leadership in six areas of practice: care provision, program management, health education, professional development, community involvement, and research.  

Judy Doran began her nursing career in Alaska working for the US Public Health Service. She then transitioned to Family Care and Pediatrics in Rochester, NH and York, ME. For the past 16 years, Judy has worked in MSAD 35 as a school nurse. In 2015 she became the MSAD 35 District Nurse Coordinator and also serves as a float nurse. She is a trusted medical figure within her school community – not just among students, but also among staff and nurse colleagues. One colleague has described her as the, “consummate professional.” Her superintendent described her as a “difference maker.” Her community described her as an exemplary school nursing leader whose clinical judgment is steeped in evidence-based practice, who has stellar organizational skills, and her ability to navigate the most complicated school health scenarios.  

A common theme across all the letters written in support of Judy’s nomination focused on her dedication and compassion for her students, her school staff, her nurse colleagues, and her community. Her supporters also highlighted her leadership and advocacy.  

State Representative Michele Meyer described Judy’s leadership and advocacy on behalf of her nurse colleagues as “a strong advocate shining a long-overdue light on the mental health of the members of her profession.” Judy has connected with Ms. Meyers on many health-related issues, most recently the need for improvement with supportive policies and practices to reduce workplace stress and increase workplace support for school nurses. Judy has spoken and written passionately about the essential need to address school nurse mental health due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Judy has written editorials for local newspapers, My American Nurse , and has contributed to the school nurse blog, The Relentless School Nurse. In one of her posts published on March 2, 2023, Judy focused her writing on what it means to be a ‘relentless nurse’. She wrote that nurses, “have the capacity to turn on a dime and shine the conversation on the matter at hand. A nurse’s gears are always turning. It’s amazing and appreciated! And that is to say, you are. Relentless. Fearless. Proud.”

MASN receives nominations for the Maine School Nurse of the Year award and selects a Maine School Nurse of the Year (SNOY) annually. To learn more about the process and see a listing of past and present awardees visit MASN’s Website.