School Nurse of the Year!

Mrs. Berset receiving her award.

At the annual conference of the Virginia Association of School Nurses (VASN), Bishop O’Connell’s Head School Nurse, Bernadette Berset was recognized as the 2022 “School Nurse of the Year” for private, independent and parochial schools. The event was held on Nov. 5 in Midlothian, Virginia.

Since 2013, Mrs. Berset has been serving the students, families, faculty, and staff at Bishop O’Connell while staying connected in the broader health community. Among other things, she has been involved in establishing clinical experiences for senior undergraduate nursing students at Marymount University, mentoring other diocesan nurses, and crafting and conducting professional development for her peers. During the COVID pandemic, she has been regularly collaborating with local and state public health authorities.

“This award encompasses the immense and tireless efforts that all of our private school nurses put into keeping our schools safe the last couple of years,” said Beth Bostwick, the School Health and Wellness Coordinator at the Office of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Arlington. “Mrs. Berset has consistently shown her commitment to her school community the last ten years—but especially in the last three years. Her ability to collaborate and make clinical decisions for the health and safety of her students and community is consistently exceptional.”

O’Connell’s Head of School, Bill Crittenberger shared his delight with this recognition. “In sports parlance, Mrs. Berset was the unanimous MVP of Bishop O’Connell during that terribly trying year one of COVID. She was the difference maker, with her indefatigable, reassuring, professional, and knowledgeable presence and extraordinary counsel and guidance. That many of her medical counterparts at the diocesan, county, and state level rely on Mrs. Berset as a sounding board and a point of reference comes as no surprise to those who know her,”

And Principal Frank Roque couldn’t agree more. “Mrs. Berset is a superstar and we are lucky to have her. Her devotion to our students and families, to her profession and to Catholic education made for the perfect nurse to guide us through these very challenging times. She combines her great faith and professional experience to provide excellent care for our community and expert guidance to the school and diocese. She is so deserving of this recognition.”

Congratulations, Mrs. Berset!