Jane Larter has been in Delano six years
By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO, MN Delano School District’s nurse Jane Larter was recently honored for doing what she loves.
Larter was honored as Minnesota’s school nurse of the year by March of Dimes Nov. 13 at a dinner and awards program at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Minneapolis.
Larter, who has been with Delano Schools for six years, said she knew she had been nominated for the award, but did not know she won until at the dinner, when the presenter started reading information about the winner and Larter soon realized they were talking about her.
“They did it kind of like the Academy Awards,” Larter said. After she realized she had won, she was escorted onto the stage be a St. Paul firefighter.
“I didn’t quite know what to say,” she admitted. “I felt quite honored to have won.”
When the snow and bad weather hit that day, Larter said she considered not attending the dinner.
“I didn’t know if I was going to make it or not, due to weather, but I did make it there and am very glad I did,” Larter said.
She said her Glencoe area residence even experienced a power outage, so she had to get prepared mostly in the dark.
Larter was honored for creating a model of school nursing that supports high-quality student services and promotes wellness for both students and staff, according to the March of Dimes.
Larter has a background in pediatrics, and said she was working at Edgewood Elementary School as a health service specialist, since she didn’t have her bachelor’s degree.
“I found, when I was there, I really enjoyed the school nursing, and needed to get my bachelor’s degree,” she said, which she obtained from Metropolitan State University in 1987. She also obtained her master of science in nursing in 1996, from the University of Minnesota.
Throughout her career, Larter has worked in public health with Meeker, McLeod, and Sherburne counties, as a nurse consultant, pediatric nurse practitioner, clinic supervisor, and health specialist.
Her health specialist duties were with the Tri-Valley Opportunity Council and its migrant Head Start program in southern Minnesota, Larter said.
She has been at Delano since 2004, where she supervises nurses and paraprofessionals, oversees the coordinated school health program, assesses student health status, and provides continuing education, along with a number of additional duties.
In addition to Delano Public Schools, Larter also works with St. Peter’s Catholic School, Mt. Olive Lutheran School, and the Academy of Sts. Peter and Paul in Loretto.
Larter is married to Robert and has one son, Christopher, and two grandchildren Duncan, 2, and Ashleen, 10.
March of Dimes celebrated Nurse of the Year winners in 13 categories at the program. The honorees’ leadership and contributions have made a significant impact on their community and to the profession of nursing.
“This inaugural event marks just the beginning of a time when we can recognize and honor Minnesota nurses who have positively impacted the lives of many and improved the systems of health care delivery so others could benefit as well,” said committee chair Karen Brill, vice president of nursing and patient services at Gillette Children’s Specialty Care. “Lives of so many patients and families have been touched by thousands of extraordinary nurses across the state.”
Nominations were submitted by patients, their families and health care professionals statewide.
“That was quite an honor for not only her, but for the school,” said Delano Public Schools Superintendent Dr. John Sweet.
Larter was nominated by co-worker Liz Olson, a paraprofessional at the Delano Elementary School. Larter said she and Olson worked together to do heart health events at all three schools as well as other wellness events.
“I truly love being a school nurse,” Larter said. “It’s a passion I have. I enjoy coming to work. I’m here for the kids and I really feel like I make a difference.”
Sponsors of the event include Gillette Children’s Specialty Care, HealthPartners/Regions Hospital, MedImmune and St. Cloud Hospital.
Nurse of the Year Awards benefit the March of Dimes mission to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.
This first-ever event raised $60,000 for the mission of the March of Dimes.