According to the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), the primary role of the school nurse is to support student learning by acting as an advocate and liaison between home, the school, and the medical community regarding concerns that are likely to affect a student’s ability to learn. Components of a coordinated school health program (provided by the school nurse) include the following comprehensive services:
Health services - Serves as the coordinator of health services program, provides nursing care, and advocates for health rights.
Health education - Provides appropriate health information that promotes informed health care decisions, promotes health, prevents disease, and enhances school performance.
Environment - Identifies health and safety concerns in the school community and promotes a safe and nurturing school environment.
Nutrition - Supports school food service programs and promotes the benefits of healthy eating.
Physical education / activity - Promotes healthy activities, physical education, and sports policies / practices that promote safety and good sportsmanship.
Counseling / mental health - Provides appropriate health counseling, assesses mental health needs, provides interventions, refers students to appropriate school staff or community agencies, and provides follow up once treatment is prescribed.
Parent / community involvement - Promotes community participation in assuring a healthy school.
Staff Wellness - Provides health education, monitoring, counseling and programs that promote a healthy staff and school environment.
(Source: "Scope and Standards of School Nurse Practice" NASN, 2002)