Role of the School Nurse
The primary role of the school nurse is to support student learning. The school nurse functions as a health care provider and manager in the school setting and is responsible for the maintenance of a comprehensive health program that advocates for the health rights of children and promotes an optimal level of wellness for students and staff. The roles of the school nurse in the school health program include manager of health care, deliverer of health services, advocate for health rights of children, consultant for health concerns of students, families, and staff, and promoter of sound health care practices within the school and community. The school nurse is responsible for primary health care in the school setting and serves as a direct link between health care providers, families, staff, and community agencies to assure access to and continuity of health care for students. The school nurse performs duties in a manner consistent with professional standards, state nurse practice acts, other state and local statutes and/or regulations applicable to school nursing practice, and adheres to school district policies.
A school nurse, with appropriate preparation, takes a leadership role by serving as the coordinator of all school health programs. As the health services expert, the school nurse serves as the health professional for the school community and provides services to support learning.
Services Provided by the School Nurse
1. Promotes and protects the optimal health status of children.
2. Develops procedures and provides illness and injury assessments and interventions.
3. Identifies, assesses, plans, intervenes, and evaluates student health concerns.
4. Performs health assessments and participates in Individualized Education Plan (IEP) development.
5. Performs nursing procedures such as ventilator care, gastrostomy feedings, tracheostomy care, catheterization, etc.
6. Provides health assessments, including screening for health factors impacting student education.
7. Provides health education and counseling to prevent teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, tobacco use, and alcohol and substance abuse.
8. Maintains, evaluates, and interprets cumulative health data to accommodate individual needs of students.
9. Provides chronic disease management and education.
10. Plans and implements Individualized Healthcare Plans (IHP) and services for children with disabilities and/or health conditions that interfere with learning, including medication administration and monitoring.
11. Provides assessments and interventions for students with mental health concerns.
12. Participates as the health specialist on school teams.