School nursing, a specialized practice of public health nursing, protects and promotes student health, facilitates normal development, and advances academic success. School nurses, grounded in ethical and evidence-based practice, are the leaders that bridge health care and education, provide care coordination, advocate for quality student-centered care, and collaborate to design systems that allow individuals and communities to develop their full potentials.
According to the National Association of School Nurses, there are approximately 61,232-73,697 Registered Nurses (RNs) working in elementary and secondary schools (K-12) in the United States depending on the survey sample ( - need these references: HRSA,2010; ACS, 2013), which represents between 2.1-2.8% of Registered Nurses in the United States. According to the American Federation of Teachers, there are approximately 45,000 school nurses employed in the United States. School nurses are often the only health professional serving students in an educational setting.
In the UK, nurses undertake additional training as Specialist Community Public Health Practitioners to become qualified Registered School Nurses and are regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. With the Cameron Ministry's reorganisation of the National Health Service, they are under the general aegis of Public Health England, but are locally commissioned by local authorities, who now hold local responsibility for public health.
They are comparable to health visitors, but specialising in a school setting, rather than a domestic one. As such they normally take over public health responsibilities for children, from health visitors, once the children are over 5 and start attending school.
Like health visitors, they monitor child development, and deliver certain vaccination programmes, as well as instigating the child safeguarding process when they suspect a child is being abused or neglected. Given their physical setting, they are also often called upon to provide first aid, and it is for this that they are most familiar to children.
Notable school nurses
- Annie McKay, first school nurse in Massachusetts, 1905
- Lina Rogers Struthers, first school nurse in the United States, in New York City, 1902
- Kris Krull, Miss New York 1975
- Anne Sheetz, Director of School Health Services, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 1986-2014
- Ashley Underwood, Survivor: Redemption Island contestant
- =name=schoolnursingdefinition>"NASN | Role & Career". www.nasn.org. Retrieved 2016-08-04.
- "NASN Frequently Asked Questions". National Association of School Nurses. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- "Annie McKay: School Nurse Pioneer" (PDF). American Association for the History of Nursing Bulletin. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- Pollit, P (February 1994). "Lina Rogers Struthers: the first school nurse.". Journal of School Nursing. 10 (1). PMID 8161875 – via PubMed.
- School Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice (2011). American Nurses Association and National Association of School Nurses. Silver Springs, MD: nursesbooks.org, the publishing program of ANA.
- Richard A. Meckel, Classroom and Clinics: Urban Schools and the Protection and Promotion of Child Health, 1870-1930. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2013.