The school nurse is considered as the leader in the school community to foresee school health programs, policies and activities. The school nurse serves in a pivotal role to promote expertise and oversight for the program of school health services and promotion of health education.Strengthening and facilitating the educational process are done through improvement and protection of students’ health statuses.
Relevance to History
The history and importance of school nursing was recorded in Oct. 1, 1902, in the United States, when Lina Rogers, the first school nurse, was hired to reduce absenteeism by interveining with students and families regarding health care needs related to communicable diseases. After a month of successful nursing interventions in the New York City schools, evidence-based nursing care made a positive remark across the city. Since then, the school nurse’s role has expanded greatly from its original focus yet the essence and goals of the practice remains intact.
Need of the School
A student’s ability to learn depends directly on his/her health status. The educational process is hindered once a student’s health needs are unmet. The school nurse supports student success by providing healthcare through assessment, intervention and follow-up for all students within the school setting. Addressing the physical, mental, emotional and social health needs of students and supporting their achievement in the learning process are all tasks of the school nurse. The school nurse not only provides for the safety and care of students and staff but also addresses the need for integrating health solutions into the educational setting.
Roles and Functions
The school nurse works to:
- Facilitate normal development and positive student response to intervention.
- Provide leadership in promoting health and safety, including a healthy environment.
- Provide quality care and intervene with actual and potential health problems.
- Use clinical judgment in providing care management services.
- Actively collaborate with others t o build student and family capacity for adaption, self-management , self-advocacy, and learning.
- Provide additional roles as needed to meet needs of the school community.
The school nurse is indeed an important entity at school or in most organizations. Aside from teachers and guidance councilors, the school nurses are also the second parents of students who work to nurture the next generation of professionals and society’s bright future.