Amplify the Voice of Nursing with Robin Cogan

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Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, is a Nationally Certified School Nurse (NCSN), currently in her 19th year as a New Jersey school nurse in the Camden City School District.

She serves on several national boards including The American Foundation for Firearm Injury Reduction in Medicine (AFFIRM), a gun violence prevention research non-profit organization and the National Board of Certification for School Nurses (NBCSN). Robin is the Legislative Chair for the New Jersey State School Nurses Association (NJSSNA). She is proud to be a Johnson & Johnson School Health Leadership Fellow and past Program Mentor.

She has been recognized in her home state of New Jersey and nationally for her community-based initiative called “The Community Café: A Conversation That Matters.” Robin is the honored recipient of multiple awards for her work in school nursing and population health. These awards include 2019 National Association of School Nurses (NASN) President’s Award; 2018 NCSN School Nurse of the Year; 2017 Johnson & Johnson School Nurse of the Year; and the New Jersey Department of Health 2017 Population Health Hero Award. Robin serves as faculty in the School Nurse Certificate Program at Rutgers University-Camden School of Nursing, where she teaches the next generation of school nurses. She was presented the 2018 Rutgers University – Camden Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award for Part-time Faculty.

Robin writes a weekly blog called The Relentless School Nurse where she explores many of today’s most pressing topics including gun violence prevention, immigration, climate justice and other social determinants of health.


Episode Highlights

We start by talking about Robin’s journey to becoming a school nurse and go on to discuss:

  • Being compassionate to nurses as much as we are to patients
  • Community cafes to gain insight
  • Growing horizontally instead of vertically
  • Becoming a school nurse activist
  • How to be trauma-responsive and the connection to ACEs

Key Points

1. Act as if you are a leader, regardless of title.

2. Your voice has value. Speak up.

3. Connect, connect and connect again.




“Leadership is a way of being. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have the title to go along with it.”

—Robin Cogan


“[Being trauma-responsive], it’s really not hard. It’s being kind, not being judgemental, being thoughtful, listening, not telling people what to do but meeting them where they are. It’s creating a culture of caring.”
—Robin Cogan


“If you can be in action around one issue that you’re maybe curious about, want to learn more about or even want to branch out and join an organization – do it.”
—Robin Cogan

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