Opportunity to Strengthen Nurse Leaders in Maine Schools

As part of funding from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for COVID-19 Emergency Response, Public Health Crisis Response, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) was awarded $8,861,778 for a two-year period, starting July 1, 2021, which has been extended through June 30, 2024. This grant requires that at least 25% of the award support school-based health programs, including nurses or other personnel.  Maine DHHS in collaboration with the Maine Department of Education (DOE) has partnered to provide opportunities to promote continued development of the current school nurse workforce. Emphasis on school nursing workforce development strengthens the quality of health services within schools. The purpose of this opportunity is to strengthen leadership confidence, values, and competencies to improve student health and achievement in Maine schools.

Encourage your outstanding nurse leaders to apply!

This opportunity is open to Maine school nurses who have demonstrated leadership within their district. Outcomes include identifying competencies for improvement and leadership style, creating a plan for professional growth, and demonstrating best practices for leadership.

This program includes individual consultations with the instructors and includes topics such as the following: developing leadership, goal setting, using technology effectively, using data to tell a story, conflict management, advocacy, finance, budgeting, ethics, legal requirements, and policy development.

To be eligible for this opportunity, school nurses must:

  • be employed and have worked in a Maine school for at least three years;
  • hold a current 524 professional endorsement from the Maine Department of Education;
  • submit a letter from your Superintendent confirming your demonstrated leadership within your school unit; and
  • be willing to share your experience and learning with school nurses in Maine as part of the School Nurse Summer Institute or other educational school nurse events.

Apply here.

There are limited slots available and will be filled to ensure all areas of the state have access.  Applications will close on November 1, 2023.

For more information, please contact Emily.Poland@Maine.gov.

New School Nurse Orientation Registration Now Open! 

If you have hired or will be hiring a new nurse for your school over the summer? Be sure to include this workshop in their new hire work plan. The Maine Department of Education’s New School Nurse Orientation is a specialized program, designed to help nurses transition into the unique specialty of school nursing. 

This one-day event will be followed up with a monthly virtual Community of Practice for continued learning, connection, and support.  

For more information reach out to Emily Poland at emily.poland@maine.gov

Webinar: The Role of Special Educators in School Safety Efforts

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Safe and Supportive Schools and its Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance (TA) Center will host a Webinar on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET. This Webinar will highlight the role of special educators in school safety, security, emergency management, and preparedness activities, including emergency operations plan (EOP) development.

The objectives of this 60-minute Webinar are to:

  • Demonstrate the importance of a collaborative planning team, as outlined in Step 1 of the six-step planning process detailed in the Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans.
  • Discuss the role that special educators play in implementing the National Preparedness System mission areas before, during, and after an emergency.
  • Reinforce how special educators can enhance EOP development and serve as key stewards in the behavioral threat assessments, continuity of operations, recovery, and more.
  • Share relevant resources to be used by special educators and core planning teams.

Register on the REMS TA Center Website to participate in the Webinar!


  • Maryland Department of Health
    • Dr. Toni Beckett, School Administrative Coordinator
  • REMS TA Center
    • Janelle Hughes, Project Director


Contact the REMS TA Center Help Desk at 1-855-781-REMS [7367] or info@remstacenter.org from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. Can’t make the live event? This Webinar will be archived on the REMS TA Center’s Website within 7 business days.

Comprehensive Electronic Health Record Pilot Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA #202305111)

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is accepting applications from school administrative units (SAUs), publicly supported secondary schools, and Education in the Unorganized Territory (EUT) who meet eligibility requirements stated in RFA# 202305111. Using American Rescue Plan, state reservation funds, the Maine Department of Education (DOE) will cover costs of implementing a comprehensive electronic health record (EHR) system of up to $6000, which includes a nominal stipend for a school-designated EHR champion. This widespread pilot aims to show that maintaining an electronic health record is beneficial to both local schools and the State of Maine as it will increase the efficiency of services provided, decrease the burden of reporting health data, allow for data-informed decisions and policy, and increase revenue possibilities with MaineCare.

Eligible schools that are interested in the Comprehensive Electronic Health Record Pilot Grant Program opportunity may access the application through the Grant RFPs and RFAs webpage.

A timeline for the application process is provided below.

  • May 24, 2023 – Request for Applications (RFA) Released
  • June 15, 2023 – RFA Question submission deadline
  • July 12, 2023 – RFA Submission deadline

All questions about the Comprehensive Electronic Health Record Pilot RFA should be submitted to the Grant Coordinator: Emily Poland, Office of School and Student Supports, at Emily.Poland@Maine.gov. 

Additional School Nurses Complete National Certification

Six more nurses have joined the original 30 school nurses who completed the National Certification in School Nursing this school year.

As part of the Maine Department of Education’s (DOE) efforts to provide opportunities to the current workforce of school nurses to build upon their expertise and to promote evidence-based practice in all Maine schools, the Maine DOE hosted a National Certification in School Nursing (NCSN) Review Course created by Nurse Builders this past fall.

Maine school nurses participated in the course that was delivered online synchronously by Dr. Janice Selekman, DNSc, RN, NCSN, FNASN. As of May 2023, 36 school nurses have now taken the course and passed the exam to become fully certified. These school nurses can now use the NCSN credentials, a nationally accredited credential that validates specialized knowledge and expertise, as a school nurse.

The National Association of School Nurses endorses national certification of school nurses through the National Board for Certification of School Nurses (NBCSN). School nursing is a subspecialty of public health nursing, incorporated into the baccalaureate nursing programs’ curriculum. Baccalaureate nursing education develops leadership, critical thinking, quality improvement, and systems thinking competencies attained through a minimum of a baccalaureate degree in nursing and validated by specialized certification in school nursing (IOM, 2011).

Congratulations to the following Maine School Nurses who completed the NCSN certification!

Sarah DeCato, Maine DOE
Jaime Gregory, RSU 13
Heidi Hinckley, MSAD 11
Karen Jenkins, Cape Elizabeth Schools
Rachel Prostasewich, RSU 21
Erin Taylor, Cape Elizabeth Schools

Here is a listing of the first 30 school nurses to complete the certification:

Jean Barbour, Falmouth Schools
Melissa Bishop, Mount Desert Island Regional School System
Brenda Bladen, Kittery School Department
Jennifer Bowdish, Brunswick School Department
Nell Bridger, Portland Public Schools
Angie Buker, MSAD 46
April Chapman, Blue Hill Consolidated School
Michele Cooney, RSU 40
Jean Cote, Waterville Public Schools
Candace Crocker, AOS 98
Sarah DeWitt, Winslow Public Schools
Heather Emerson, RSU 40
Jody Gray, RSU 4
Crystal Greaves, MSAD 46
Emily Guyer, RSU 5
Lori Huot, Maine DOE
Brittany Layman, RSU 22
Melanie Lord, Yamouth Schools
Monique Michaud, MSAD 27
Shirah O’Connell, Portland Public Schools
Tara Oxley, Erskine Academy
Alyssa Rainey, Waterville Public Schools
Cathryn Sherman, Brewer School Department
Elizabeth Spaulding, Portland Public Schools
Janneke Strickland, RSU 9
Melissa Tringali, Gorham Schools
Sherri Vail, RSU 40
Rosemary Wiser, MSAD 44
Jessi Woodman, MSAD 6

For additional information about this opportunity, reach out to Emily Poland, Maine DOE School Nurse Consultant at emily.poland@maine.gov.