Time magazine recognizes Minnesota school nurse for work during pandemic

“They called me because they were looking for a rural representative (of school nurses),” Pokrandt said. “He thought I was going to homes, delivering meds, which is totally illegal. Besides, we’re 7 minutes from Rochester.”

The misunderstanding didn’t stop Pokrandt from talking to a writer from the magazine about what she does at Pine Island 5-12 School, and how the pandemic has changed the job of being a school nurse.

“I never would have imagined when I applied for my (nursing) license those many years ago that this is where we’d be sitting,” Pokrandt said. “I don’t think people could have imagined this.”

These days, in addition to dealing with the occasional headache, skinned elbow and even broken bones, being a school nurse is about contact tracing, COVID-19 education, staying on top of the latest data on the virus, and helping make decisions that impact families and the community.

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Pokrandt said when the pandemic was just getting started in early 2020, she was part of the group that made the tough choice to postpone a class

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