An Interview with Mrs. Belnap

by Laritha Sengpraseuth

20 years of college... For a 2-year degree?

Sheryl Belnap has been a school nurse for almost nine years. She received her Associates' Degree in Nursing from ACC. Although she graduated from ACC, she originally started at UT Austin for community arts as an art student and was an artist until she got into an accident. The accident took a long time for recovery, which pulled her out of college for a while. However, while she was recovering, the nurses that took care of her made her feel so great from being taken care of, which inspired her to change her college choices and become a nurse herself.

During college, she met Mr. Belnap, who was in the military and also lived in a different city. While they were dating, Mrs. Belnap had to drive an hour to get to her classes each day. Eventually, they got married. She had moved around quite a bit because of her husband's military duties, going overseas three times and even living in Germany for three years! Of course, during those times, she was unable to attend her college classes. She went through five years at ACC, having some of her credits transferred over from UT and finally graduated.

Before becoming a school nurse, she worked in home health care, which is a range of health care services given in your home. She started school nursing in elementary school, then in Bastrop and Cedar Creek where she nursed at their middle schools, before finally coming to Elgin High School.

Mrs. Belnap also home-schooled her children while also going to college. After everything, her advice: Stay in college. Get your degree. Then comes the marriage and children.

Between moving areas, going overseas, home-schooling her children, recovering after an accident, Mrs. Belnap had to be pulled in and out of college countless times. As a result, it took her around 20 years to complete college officially and receive her Associate's.

Mrs. Belnap's journey to getting her associate's degree was definitely not easy nor quick, but it shows just how passionate she was about getting her degree.

More About Mrs. Belnap

Grade levels attended to:

- 9th to 12th

Nurse Office Environment:

- very welcoming

- quiet

- educational posters

- friendly

Management Techniques:

- Nurse Passes

- 4 Student Nurse Aides

- Daily Log

- Computer System

Nursing Procedure:

- Ask student to sign in

- Assess the student

- Determine whether it is a serious issue or not

- Alleviate the pain

- Contact the parents

Hours per Week:

- 45 to 60 hrs

Biggest Challenges:

- parent's understanding of communication in case of an emergency through a working phone number

Often times when she needs to contact a child's parent for any health-related reasons, the phone number goes to their voicemail box or doesn't work. At times of emergency, if their phone number doesn't work, she is not able to do anything to help their child.

Biggest Rewards:

- knowing that she might have been a child's only source of health care and support, as well as knowing she had helped them


- 9, sometimes a 9.5

Encounters throughout a normal day:

- women's problems

- medicine

- sore throats

- fevers

- headaches

- toothaches

- stomachaches

- the aftermath of school fights

Most of the students she sees each day are for small things, like little occurrences.

Mrs. Belnap's Information Page!

Nurse at Elgin High School