Gorenflo Elementary Nurse Captures Top Award

Joyce Christian looked concerned as she asked a student "You feel shaky? O.K. Why don't we go ahead and do your blood sugar". Christian has been a nurse at Gorenflo Elementary for eight years. Every day, her office at the Biloxi school is usually filled with young patients.

"Sometimes, days are really rough. Like the flu season, I think I was seeing an average of about 30 kids a day," Joyce Christian said.

Nurse Christian does more than take temperatures or bandage boo-boos. She not only heals the pains of the body, but also the wounds of the heart. She also takes the time to make sure each child feels better before they return to class.

"I just feel like I'm a big mom to them a lot of times, because they come in with all kinds of needs. It may not be physical needs, it may be emotional needs," Christian said.

"She's really a nice nurse and she's really sweet. Sometimes, when people come in and they're not actually sick, she still takes their blood pressure for them," Sixth Grader Katie Pizzetta said.

Even teachers turn to Nurse Christian when they need some T.L.C. Teacher Lydia Lacey comes to the office twice a day to monitor her blood pressure.

"If we need something, we can come to here. As she does with me, she takes my blood pressure. When we're out sick, and come back, she follows up on us to make sure we're recovering well," Lacey said.

That's why they all agree Nurse Christian is the best school nurse in Mississippi.

"I'm humbled by the award. I hope I'm a role model for other nurses and other school nurses, because whatever I can do help them, I try to share it with them," Christian said.

The Mississippi School Nurses Association also recognized Nurse Christian for her involvement in the community. Every year, she organizes a walk for Diabetes. She also educates the public about Asthma, and puts together a multi-cultural program during Black History Month.