Kelli Mueller Named Finalist for School Nurse of the Year Award

Kelli Mueller Named Finalist for School Nurse of the Year Award
Posted on 01/06/2023
DCSD’s Kelli Mueller was named a finalist for the Colorado Association of School Nurses’ 2022 School Nurse of the Year Award. With nearly 750 school nurses throughout the state, it’s quite an honor to be nominated for this prestigious award. “I’m very touched by this recognition,” Kelli said.

Kelli Mueller, MS, BSN, RN, NCSN, has been a registered nurse for 40 years and a DCSD school nurse consultant since 1999. She’s the longest-serving nurse consultant in the District! She credits her longevity to loving what she does. School nursing involves evaluating students for illnesses and injuries but also involves daily problem-solving to reduce and eliminate learning barriers for our students with mental and medical health concerns. “Nurses serve a critical role in schools in promoting good health as healthy children learn better,” Kelli adds. Over the years Kelli’s seen changes in protocols, staffing, and resources. One thing that’s remained the same is how DCSD cares for the health and well-being of every child. 

In 2011, while working at two elementary schools and a middle school, Kelli was asked to coordinate the School Medicaid Reimbursement Program. At that time the Medicaid program funded two nursing positions. During her three years as coordinator, the Medicaid reimbursement funds tripled and supported 11 school nursing positions and multiple health-related programs. Kelli received a recognition award from the Consortium, a Medicaid community agency for “making a difference” due to her focus on providing needed health services for DCSD students and families with Medicaid reimbursement funds. After successfully advocating for a full-time District Medicaid Coordinator position, Kelli returned to school nursing.

Kelli is an original member of the Douglas County Vaping Task Force, formed in 2017. In 2021, she was the co-lead of the Douglas County Vaping Prevention Task Force. In September 2022, Kelli was given a recognition award by the Douglas County Healthy Youth Coalition and Tri-County Health Department for her instrumental work in promoting health and wellness for Douglas County youth by providing classroom lessons and arranging parent and school staff community vaping education events. She currently works at Ranch View Middle School and the Highlands Ranch Bridge Program.

Among other accomplishments, Kelli developed a new health room check-in tool to collect data on health room visits and also encouraged students to respond to the question: What do you feel you need today? The format allowed students to communicate privately with the nurse and the health room staff. After instituting the electronic check-in, referrals from the health room to the counseling staff tripled in the first year.
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