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The School Health Nurse: Community Setting

1952 words - 8 pages

School health nursing is an important part of the community and benefits the health and well-being of its aggregates. The educators and the health professionals are intertwined; both are educators both influence the ability for the aggregates to learn. The school nurse is the link for identifying and addressing health issues. The school nurse has the ability to impact healthy behaviors that extends to adulthood (Alexandropoulou, 2013). The school nurse has the inherent ability to promote and manage a positive healthy prospective between the schools, the parents and the community. Children living in poverty are increasing from urban to rural communities limiting their access to health ...view middle of the document...

It is increasingly evident through literature provided by The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American School Health Association and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) that there is a connection of academic achievement and student health. The NASN has based evidence that students that are healthier, have a better attendance rate and focus more on school work. The evidence demonstrates that when comparing schools that employ nurses and those that don’t; schools with nurses have identified more students with health conditions; once identified, care was managed which improved attendance rates and follow-up (Baisch et al., 2011).
Health education includes many aspects of children’s health and well-being and can prevent negative behaviors that continue into adulthood. Health education is about prevention and educating the ill effects of negative behaviors that affect future health; such as alcohol, drugs, smoking, lack of physical activity and unprotected sexual behavior (Nies & McEwen, 2011, p. 587). The NASN in a position statement regarding the care of the school student with diabetes states that equipment and care plans strategies have changed. Children when partnered with the school nurse are often more familiar with the management of their disease. Glucose monitoring and treatment is monitored by the most qualified in a school setting; the school nurse. The school nurse when working with parents and the child can develop a plan of care to prevent and manage emergency situations (West & Holmes, 2014). Evidence based on research justifies the positive impact school nurses have on the community when schools utilize their expertise. Evidence-based practice in healthcare practice promotes healthier outcomes.

History of School Nursing
In 1840 the state of Rhode Island passed legislation that made it mandatory for children to have a formal education other states were soon to follow. By the 1860’s it became evident that children in schools were susceptible to the spread of communicable diseases and could be prevented through immunization and early detection. Schools were targeted and by 1870 the immunization of all children was required (Nies & McEwen, 2011). Lillian Wald; best known for her development of the Visiting Nurse Service was able to demonstrate that schools with nurses decreased the absenteeism by 50%.
School health nursing continues to evolve; many school nurse organizations are involved in providing standards of practice and evidence-based research. According to a 2006 report put out by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 86% of states and 82.4% of school districts require either a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse (www.cdc.gov). Most schools maintain health and immunization records, and most schools provide comprehensive health components from health education to family and community involvement. Not all schools benefit from a...

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