Interview with the National Association of Schools Nurses
The mission of the National Association of School Nurses is to improve the health and educational success of children and youth by developing and providing leadership to advance school nursing practice by specialized registered nurses. School nursing is a specialized professional nursing practice that advances the well-being and academic success and lifelong learning and health for children and youth.
School nurses facilitate normal growth and development. They promote health and safety. They intervene with actual and potential health problems. They provide case management. They collaborate with others who are trying to build student and family capacity to be self-managing, self-advocating, and they oversee school policies and programs as well as serving as a liaison between the school personnel, the community, health care providers, the family and so on.
School nurses use clinical knowledge and judgment to provide screenings as well as coordinating referrals Some states have a state certification requirement that's similar to a teaching credential. So it's beyond the bachelor's degree that the nurse has to have, and it's similar to what other school professionals have to be able to work in schools.
Many nurses now have national certification. To be certified by the National Board for the Certification of School Nurses, the school nurse has to be a registered nurse and she has to have a bachelor's degree.
With changes in federal and state laws over the last 40 years guaranteeing that all children have the right to a free and appropriate public education, coupled with medical and technological advancements, increasing numbers of children are coming to school every day with chronic and acute conditions like diabetes, epilepsy, asthma. A significant number of children who are very medically fragile are attending school as well.
So the changes that we've seen in the last 40 years, or even in the last 10, 15 years, these changes mean that school nurses must be knowledgeable about the ever changing and highly sophisticated medical regiments, treatments and medications.
Increasing numbers of students are coming to school every day with chronic and acute conditions like diabetes, asthma, epilepsy as well as significant numbers of very medically fragile children. So these changes mean that school nurses must be knowledgeable about the ever changing and highly sophisticated medical regiments, treatments, and medications, and school nurses are often the only health care professional in the school. So they must be able to practice or function very independently providing competent and safe care for the physical and psychosocial needs of children.
NASN is its members' primary and indispensable resource for school health programs, services, and experiences. NASN is the leader in advocacy for student health and professional development of school nurses. NASN offers a variety of continuing educational opportunities and programs, including an annual conference, regional workshops, discussion lists, and online educational programs. NASN works with state affiliates, as well as international affiliates, to strengthen and solidify our membership and that's driven towards excellence in school nursing practice.
We are the worldwide leader. Truly, we have calls from around the world. For more information on NASN and what it has to offer, as well as careers in school nursing, visit NASN.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.