School nursing, a specialized practice of nursing, protects and promotes student health, facilitates optimal development, and advances academic success. School nurses, grounded in ethical and evidence-based practice, are the leaders who 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 potential. Adopted by the NASN Board of Directors February 2017.
It is the “mandatory duty” of school district officials to refuse school admission to a child who does not have the required certificate of immunizations or exemption.
Too Sick for School?
This EPS School Health Guide offers details regarding health conditions and when exclusion from school is necessary.
Managing Health Conditions At School
Parents of students who have illnesses or conditions such as diabetes, asthma, seizures, allergies, and other conditions should work with their site principals and school nurses to make sure that an effective response plan is in place to ensure the best treatment for the student. A number of medical authorization forms may need to be on file which are to be completed each year at the time of enrollment (new students) or during the annual update (existing students) for the following school year.
Medications at School
Only medication that has been prescribed for a student by a licensed Health Care Provider will be administered by school personnel, including both prescription and non-prescription medications. Substances not approved by the FDA will not be administered by school personnel.
Health screening done at your child’s school may include vision, hearing, and dental. If you do NOT want your child to participate in screenings, please notify your child’s school in writing by September 1st, of the current school year.
Growth and Development
Aspects of growth and development are taught at all levels beginning in the early years with age-appropriate lessons on positive body image, good self-care, and self-esteem. School nurses teach 5th-grade Growth and Development which is a two-part program. In the first part, students are divided into groups according to gender and shown a gender-specific 20-minute video providing answers to boys’ and girls’ questions about their growing bodies. Filmed with 3D rendered anatomy illustrations, this program is intended to help students learn more about puberty. Topics include the male or female reproductive system, hygiene, grooming, the dangers of alcohol and drugs to growing bodies, emotional and physical changes of puberty, the importance of exercise and good nutrition, and body image. In the second part, students are taught about HIV/AIDS.
Through our partnership with Mercy, eighth graders are taught a program that covers puberty, sex and sexually transmitted infections, abstinence, and ramifications of unprotected sex. At the High Schools, aspects of sex education are taught in health, biology, parenting and child development and marriage and family living classes.