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.
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.
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).