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NHM Health Focus:
School Nurses

May 2009

School Nurses' logo

School nurses implement the goals of school health programs as they help to:

  • ensure access to primary health care;
  • provide a system for dealing with crisis medical situations;
  • provide mandated screening and immunization monitoring; and
  • provide a process for identification and resolution of students' health care needs that affect educational achievement.
    American Academy of Pediatrics

School Nurses work to enhance student learning as they:

  • provide direct health care to students and staff;
  • provide leadership for the provision of health services;
  • provide screening and referral for health conditions;
  • promote a healthy school environment;
  • promote health;
  • serve in leadership roles for health policies and programs; and
  • serve as a liaison between school personnel, family, community, and health care providers.
    National Association of School Nurses

Each May we honor the Nursing profession and provide a special salute to School Nurses. National School Nurse Day is observed the Wednesday within National Nurse Week and National Nurse Week is always May 6th through May 12th. In 2009, School Nurse Day is Wednesday, May 6. Please join us as we salute the dedication of nurses who work in schools as well as those who work in hospitals, homes, care centers, doctors' offices, prisons and elsewhere. The 2009 theme is "School Nurses: Meeting Needs of Today's Students."

Some nursing assignments require education beyond a bachelor's degree; others require much less formal education. Everywhere, at every level, nurses have as their primary concern, the well being of those in their care. For information regarding nursing as a career check out LifeWorks, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Science Education Web site for health and medical careers. For more information about school nursing, visit the National Association of School Nurses (NASN).

One of the roles of professional organizations is to support their members with information that will help them effectively do their jobs. For example the National Association of School Nurses has an Asthma Management Program. Professional organizations also promote an understanding of their specialty to others who work with the same clients. An example of this would be the School Tools produced by the American Association of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI).

The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) supports school nurses by providing background information, checklists and other resources. For example the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has information for patients and the public; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published Asthma Control Programs and Activities. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools.

School nurses answer many questions related to health issues during a school year as they assist students, teachers, and staff members. The following resources posted on Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum represent just a few of the resources on this site that may be addressed by school nurses during a school year.

Activities Exchange: Fellows Collection - Student Internship Program
Activities Exchange: NSTA Share-the-Wealth - What is a Medicine?
Activities Exchange: Classic Collection - Vaccines - How and Why?
Activities Exchange: Classic Collection - The First Steps of Human Vision
Activities Exchange: Classic Collection - Coping with the Human Impact of Genetic Disease
Let's Collaborate: Science Seminar - Another Day, Another Neuron
What's News: Newsmaker Interviews - Don Francis talks to Teachers about the Ebola Outbreak
What's News: Newsmaker Interviews - So you wanna be a Big Doctor, consider a career in primary care
Health Headquarters: Health Question of the Week - Online Medical Records
Health Headquarters: Health Question of the Week - Health Careers
Health Headquarters: Health Question of the Week - AIDS Education

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