School health services staff can help all students with preventive care such as flu shots, vision and hearing screening, and acute and emergency care. School health services staff also are responsible for coordinating care by communicating with the student’s family and health care providers so that they can stay healthy and ready to learn. The US CDC model for school health services shows how school health services use various methods to support students.
School nurses, the foundation of school health services, are licensed healthcare professionals working in educational settings and play a vital role in student success. They incorporate standards of nursing practice, coordination of care, leadership, and public health into schools on a daily basis.
School nurses straddle two statutory and regulatory frameworks: health and education. Because school nurses practice nursing in an educationally focused system, they face unique legal, policy, funding, and supervisory issues with unique ethical dimensions.
The National Association of School Nurses has developed a Code of Ethics for school nurses based on the American Nurses Association Center for Ethics and Human Rights.
This is intended to provide guidance for school nursing practice and can inform school health services about:
- Current resources from DOE as well as national organizations
- Sample protocols or procedures related to the health of students
- Resources to enhance school nursing practice
Emily Poland, MPH, RN, NCSN
School Nurse Consultant
Coordinated School Health Team Leader