What Preparation Does a School Nurse Need?
A School Nurse needs expertise in the following areas:
- Pediatric, public health and mental health nursing with strong health promotion, assessment and referral skills
- Education and health laws impacting children
- Teaching strategies for the delivery of health education to students and staff
What Does a School Nurse Do?
- The primary role of the School Nurse is to support student learning. The nurse accomplishes this by implementing strategies that promote student and staff health and safety.
- A School Nurse, with appropriate preparation, takes a leadership role in serving as the coordinator of school health programs in the following manner:
- Health Services -- serves as the coordinator of the health services program and provides nursing care
- Health Education -- provides health education to students, staff and parents
- Healthy Environment -- identifies health and safety concerns in the school environment and promotes a nurturing school environment
- Nutritional Services -- supports healthy food services programs
- Physical Education/Mental Health -- provides health counseling, assesses mental health needs, provides interventions and refers students to appropriate school staff or community agencies
- Parent/Community Involvement -- promotes community involvement in assuring a healthy school
- Staff Wellness -- provides health education and counseling, promotes health activities and environment for school staff
What Services Do School Nurses Provide?
- As the health services expert, the School Nurse serves as the health professional for the school community and provides the following services:
- Illness, injury assessments and interventions
- Identification, assessment, planning, intervention and evaluation of student health concerns
- Health assessments
- Individualized Education Plan development
- Pediatric nursing procedures: ventilators, gastrostomy feedings, tracheotomy care, catheterization
- Screening for health factors impacting student education
- Activities and education to promote health and prevent teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, tobacco use and alcohol and substance abuse
- Chronic disease management and education
- Individualized Nursing Care Plans and services for students with disabilities and/or health conditions that interfere with learning
- Medication administration
- Assessment and interventions for students with mental health needs
- Crisis team participation
- Health curriculum recommendation
- School/community/health care provider liaison
What Difference Does a School Nurse Make?
- School nursing interventions improve student health to impact achievement and success.
- School Nurses collaborate with administrators to promote a healthy, safe, and nurturing environment.
- Parents are confident their student's health needs and injuries are appropriately handled during the school day.
- Teachers are freed up to devote their time to educating students because the School Nurse coordinates the health care needed by students.
According to a recent survey of School Nurses:
98% - Have saved a child's life
82% - Have identified an abused child
67% - Have counseled a depressed/suicidal student
Decrease discipline referrals