5 things we all learned at Magnus Academy

smaller_for_blogMagnus Academy 2014 will live in history books as the event that started it all. For the very first time, we hosted two and half thrilling days of training for Magnus customers, with a splash (or two, or three) of fun. We laughed, we cheered, we learned, and most importantly, we connected. And, for anyone who wasn’t able to attend our first Magnus Academy, don’t worry. This is your chance to see what all of the fuss was about.

Now before we get started on what everyone learned during the inaugural Academy event, here’s a little information to set the scene. This year’s academy was comprised of:

  • 24 Magnus Health SMR customers
  • 6 core learning sessions
  • 4 Magnus Health presenters
  • 1 guest presenter
  • Lots of orange

It was a full event, and we all learned plenty of new ways to utilize SMR, foster a school community, and enjoy our jobs. Here are the 5 main takeaways:

1. Orange is, in fact, the new black.


Academy attendees started out the event by getting a behind-the-scenes tour of Magnus Health Headquarters. They met their Client Services support team, saw the process of how we develop new features, and experienced what it feels like to be surrounded by bright orange.

To give you a little context, nearly 40% of our office walls are covered in orange. Covered. But Academy attendees weren’t afraid. In fact, they embraced it. For the next two days, we saw orange shirts and accessories popping up – including this matching pair pictured to the right.

2. School nurses are just like you and me. 

Sure, school nurses know how to save second graders from scraped knees and splinters, while simultaneously caring for complex chronic health conditions. But, did you know that deep down, at the center of it all, school nurses are normal people, too? They enjoy meeting other nurses, learning ways to better care for students, and even having a good time.

After spending two and a half full days with our Academy attendees, it was clear that they all needed this break from regular life, and also needed a little “professional development” with their fellow nurses. We were just happy to be a part of it.

3. Connections matter.

Speaking of professional development…

Sometimes just talking with colleagues can open new windows of possibilities, and this holds true for school nurses, too. So, we brought in a guest speaker for this special session. Deb Illardi, RN, BSN, and Clinical Editor of School Nurse News enlightened us all from her years of experience in school nursing.

Deb’s core message was this: Get connected. School nursing can be isolating, since many schools only have one nurse. To combat these circumstances, Deb advised everyone to join the National Association of School Nurses, or another regional group – to stay connected professionally, and personally.

4. It’s time to work smarter, not harder.

We’re all here for the same reason: To use SMR to better manage student health and safety. This means that SMR is your friend, but are you using all that it has to offer?

For example, there were plenty of “ooh”s and “ahh”s throughout Academy when attendees realized an SMR feature they weren’t using to its fullest extent. We all learned that using these features to work smarter can reduce your workload and get rid of the need to work harder. These features include:

  • Groups for students with serious health conditions
  • Dropdown fields in treatment notes
  • Custom VHR questions for student handbooks or other important forms

5. Students need the whole school.

Along with learning about professional connections and SMR functions, we also spent some time at Academy talking about student health beyond the school nurse. Most headline-worthy was the introduction of our stance on a Zero Tolerance policy for incomplete health forms on the first day of school.

We outlined our comprehensive toolkit on the subject (which you can download for free), and pointed out that student health doesn’t just lie in the hands of the school nurse. Rather, every administrator is responsible for being a part of an atmosphere that promotes health and safety. That means that the whole school should work together to create and enforce a zero tolerance policy. It saves lives, plain and simple.