In the century-plus time that school nurses have taken care of children in school settings, their roles and responsibilities have evolved. There was a time when a school nurse was in charge of reducing communicable diseases, such as the cold or flu, through education of hygiene and intervention, or offering support along with a Band-Aid to children with scraped knees. In today’s world, both these childhood common problems are still on the radar of a school nurse. However whether in a public or private school, a nurse plays a much more complex role today, tackling new complexities in health, both physical and mental.
According to the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), the first nurse entered a school in New York City in 1902 in order to reduce absenteeism from communicable diseases. Students learn better when healthy.
The NASN goal states that, “The school nurse supports student success by providing healthcare through assessment, intervention, and follow-up for all children within the school setting. The school nurse addresses the physical, mental, emotional, and social health needs of students and supports their achievement in the learning process.”