The Valuable Role of School Nurses

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School nurses are the eyes and ears of public health and primary care.

The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) conducted a survey in April 2020 to learn what key activities school nurses were providing during the COVID-19 crisis. School nurses (N=4788) from all 50 states and the District of Columbia participated. The majority (60.7%) of school nurses were included in district discussions regarding COVID-19.

back to school

Of the Nurses Surveyed…

Subject Matter Expertise in Health Resources

48% Answer inquiries from parents and the community

44% hold virtual office hours even during pandemic times

18% host virtual support groups

17% conduct staff and student screening when located on-site

Educating Others on Healthcare

45% help educate staff on infection control measures

35% are the source of updates and disseminate information from local health departments

30% develop and conduct courses and videos about COVID-19

25% are providing staff self-care lessons

20% continually educate the community directly about COVID-19

back to school nurses are a valuable role

Work Doesn’t Stop There…

Student Outreach

54% of the School Nurses perform outreach to students at-risk

32% assist with deliveries of medication and food to students in-need

School Nurses’ Massive Role in Chronic Condition Management

72% of school nurses handle the medication and equipment returns to families

71% work towards achievable goals and plans for student healthcare

28% assist students in chronic condition management directly

School Health Policy Development and Planning

43% of school nurses assist in updating and developing health policies for their schools

41% assist with the plan to return to school

In addition, 78% of school nurses used the time to review their data to see new trends, 26% updated/developed their professional webpage, and 66% participated in trainings to stay current on key health issues. School nurses are now planning for the fall so that they can keep students and staff healthy, safe, and ready to learn.

The school nurse is an essential member on pandemic preparedness, re-opening and re-entry planning teams.

School nurses are on the front lines of exposure to students who are sick or who are asymptomatic but infectious. As a healthcare professional, school nurses are specialists in public health. The school nurse leads healthcare in schools and practices in a holistic manner to address the needs of students. Current standards of practice are evolving for the care of students during the COVID-19 pandemic and are threaded throughout this guidance document. School nurse leaders should be included in state and local level planning for schools opening.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

has provided recommendations about infection control measures in the schools related to COVID-19. The National Association of School Nurses recently surveyed school nurses to learn what type of infection control supplies and equipment they had in their schools BEFORE schools were closed due to COVID-19.

These numbers indicate if the school nurse had the equipment, not if there was adequate supply in accordance with CDC guidance for frontline health care workers. School nurses indicated they were not confident that their schools are prepared for re-opening or will have necessary personal protective equipment (PPE).


Planning Guidelines for Returning to School, For School Nurses.

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