"I have a bachelor's of science in nursing degree from a four-year university, and then took my boards to receive my RN and public health nursing license," says Jen Kohorst, a school nurse and the founder of parenting website Minnesota Momma. School nurses also administer basic first aid and, with parental … Think again. Being overwhelmed is perfectly normal. If you haven't found time to get your kid vaccinated before school starts, don't expect that the school nurse will be able to handle it for you. Honing the minds of a new generation? Having to deal with sick people day in and day out, it's inevitable that school nurses will catch a bug from time to time. First things first – you want to set up your desk and office space. School nurses are qualified to assess a child’s post-concussion progress and adapt education plans as needed to promote health and educational outcomes. School nurses monitor diabetic students multiple times a day, administer medications for ADHD and other medical conditions, and perform hands-on tasks like urinary catheterization and toileting for disabled students. There is a massive shortage of school nurses nationwide. Schools throughout the country are impacted by the prevalence and complexity of children's health problems. This can include screenings for abuse, neglect, depression, and visual and/or hearing deficits. They probably have more than one job, for one. If you're interested in becoming a school nurse and still need to earn your BSN, fill out the form on this page to find the program that’s right for you! According to the National Educational Association, the school nursing shortage is so severe that, in 29 states, there are more than 1,000 students per school nurse. While their ability to treat teachers varies by district, school nurses "do have teachers fill out forms of who to contact in case of an emergency," noting that she wouldn't hesitate to treat an in injured teacher if the situation arose. 3. A primary function of school nurses is to screen for health factors that may be impacting a student’s learning. According to one 2005 Department of Health and Human Services report on school mental health services in the United States, approximately 32 percent of school nurses' time is spent addressing students' mental health concerns. Five years later, Rogers was tasked with reducing absenteeism by identifying and treating children with communicable diseases. They communicate with students’ pediatricians about concerns regarding attendance, parental noncompliance with medical goals, and suspected abuse. Most schools have just one nurse, but, in some cases, a single nurse serves multiple student populations. 1. Conversely, they could misjudge the severity of a student’s condition leading to a negative outcome. A topic that has been prominent in the media is the identification and treatment of head injuries. American Nurses Association (ANA) President Rebecca M. Patton, MSN, RN, CNOR, has stated "Children should be healthy to learn and learn to be healthy. They are frequently tasked with helping teachers, too. School nurses also train others, such as showing staff how to perform … In Kohorst's case, she teaches growth and development to elementary school students, while many school nurses are involved in teaching subjects like their school's sex ed curriculum, too. The 21st-century school nurse is responsible for the care of students with chronic illnesses, disabilities, and mental health conditions. Though it may seem as though being a school nurse means you stay in the same position for years, there's actually a surprising amount of upward mobility. Direct care from nurses can increase return-to-class rates and assure the safety of their students. School nurses are the first responders to critical incidents on school grounds. Let’s examine how modern school nurses meet these goals. That's because, according to the State Regulation of Private Schools, "there is not an explicit law or regulation requiring a private school to have a school nurse.". On a typical day, a school nurse may administer medications, monitor an ill student’s health, and educate a class about proper hygiene. The 21st century has seen a resurgence of contagious diseases in the school population due to the development of diseases for which no vaccines or cures exist, drug resistant strains of common communicable diseases, and an increase in vaccine-preventable illness due to knowledge deficits regarding the safety of childhood vaccines. School nurses are also responsible for job duties that help the entire school population stay healthy. ", In fact, Kohorst says that anxiety and depression are among the two most common complaints students come in with. But as every seasoned nurse knows, there are some things nursing school just can’t teach you. While many kids will show up at the nurse's office to have their mental health concerns addressed, those issues fall under the purview of the school counselor, with whom the nurse is usually working in tandem.