School administrators serve as leaders in the school improvement process. School nurses use a similar, systematic process in their professional practice known as the nursing process. When addressing the health needs of their students, school nurses apply the steps of the nursing process which include:
● Assessment of student and needs
● Formulation of problem statements (nursing diagnosis)
● Development of desired outcomes
● Identification of evidence-based intervention and creation of an appropriate plan
● Implementation of the plan
● Evaluation of student progress toward the outcomes
● Revision of the plan as needed
The school nurse’s assessments and interventions can be an integral part of school improvement process. School nurses improve school performance by increasing student and parent engagement, decreasing absenteeism, increasing student time in the classroom, and impacting students’ readiness and ability to learn.
The practice of school nursing can be better understood by reviewing the practice standards that have been established by the National Association of School Nurses and the American Nurses Association. These Standards of Practice for School Nursing are described fully in the document: School Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice (2017), National Association of School Nurses and American Nurses Association; Nurses Books Org. The Publishing Program of the American Nurses Association: Silver Spring, MD. The Standards follow.
Standards of Professional Practice
Standard 1. Assessment:
Standard 2. Diagnosis:
Standard 3. Outcomes Identification:
Standard 4. Planning: The school nurse develops a plan that prescribes strategies to attain expected, measurable outcomes.
Standard 5. Implementation: The school nurse implements the identified plan.
Standard 5A. Coordination of Care: The school nurse coordinates care delivery.
Standard 5B. Heath Teaching and Health Promotion: The school nurse and employs strategies to promote health and a safe environment.
Standard 6. Evaluation: The school nurse evaluates progress towards achievement of outcomes.
Standards of Professional Performance
Standard 7. Ethics: The school nurse practices ethically.
Standard 8. Culturally Congruent Practice: The school nurse practices in a manner that is congruent with cultural diversity and inclusion principles.
Standard 9. Communication: The school nurse communicates effectively in all areas of practice.
Standard 10. Collaboration: The school nurse collaborates with key stakeholders in the conduct of nursing practice.
Standard 11. Collaboration Leadership: The school nurse leads within the professional practice setting and the profession.
Standard 12. Education: The school nurse seeks knowledge and competence that reflects current nursing practice and promotes futuristic thinking.
Standard 13. Evidence-Based Practice and Research: The school nurse integrates evidence and research findings into practice.
Standard 14. Quality of Practice: The school nurse contributes to quality nursing practice.
Standard 15. Professional Practice Evaluation: The school nurse evaluates one’s own and other’s nursing practice.
Standard 16. Resource Utilization: The school nurse utilizes appropriate resources to plan, provide, and sustain evidence-based nursing services that are safe, effective, and fiscally responsible.
Standard 17. Environmental health: The school nurse practices in an environmentally safe and healthy manner.
Standard 18 Program Management: The school nurse directs the health services program within the school and community that includes evidence-based practice and accountability measures for quality, student health, and learning outcomes.