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Ohio School Based Health Care:

Licensed School Nurses + Primary Care & Mental Health Services = Student Health & Academic Success
The Ohio Association of School Nurses (OASN) advocates for the health of Ohio’s school aged children and their families.  With the recent advent of the increasing numbers of School Based Health Centers (SBHCs), it is important to understand the individual and collaborative roles of the Licensed School Nurse (LSN) and SBHCs.  The unique combination of school nursing services and SBHCs facilitates positive health outcomes for students.

The Licensed School Nurse is an expert in school based health care.  School nurses are responsible for the day-to-day health of students and the larger school community through:

  • management of chronic disease and life-threatening health conditions,
  • individual and population-based disease surveillance,
  • health promotion,
  • assistance in securing insurance and healthcare providers,
  • preparation for and response to medical emergencies,

(NASN, 2015)

  • care for students dependent on medical technology,
  • mental health services,
  • screenings and referrals
  • immunization compliance
  • medication management
  • healthcare planning and education
  • follow-up care
  • care coordination

School Based Health Centers, according to the Community Guide website (2015) supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, must provide primary healthcare and may also include mental health care, social services, dentistry, and health education.  Student participation must include parental consent, and services provided for individual students may be limited to specific types of care. Primary care includes the following:

  • laboratory services
  • medical diagnosis and treatment
  • medication prescription
  • oral care (optional)
  • mental healthcare (optional)

(NASN, 2015)

The most effective model for healthcare in schools is the LSN and the SBHC working collaboratively.  The unique relationship between LSN and SBHC allows for the facilitation of healthcare services, data collection and the development of critical links in the broader community.  Healthcare for children in schools shouldn’t be a choice between a SBHC and a LSN. A collaborative model of having both ensures the optimal health for Ohio’s children and families.

Resources from the Ohio Association of School Nurses and the Ohio Department of Education are available at Guidance and case studies from the Ohio Association of School Nursesand "ODE School Based Health Care Toolkit."


National Association of School Nurses. (2015). The complementary roles of the school nurse and school based health centers (Position Statement). Silver Spring, MD: Author.

The Community Guide Website. (2015). https://www.thecommunityguide.org/findings/promoting-health-equity-through-education-programs-and-policies-school-based-health-centers.

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2019 OASN 46th Annual Conference

2019 conference logoTaking Flight: School Nurses Soaring to Improve Student Outcomes Save the Date: March 8 - 10, 2019
Dayton, OH at the Marriott at the University of Dayton.    
Keynote Speaker: Janice Selekman DNSc, RN - author of School Nursing: A Comprehensive Text, 2nd Edition 
  • Back by Popular Demand - NCSN Review on Sunday!
    NCSN Review Part II will be presented by Dr. Selekman

Click Here to Book your group rate for OASN Annual Conference 2019

Marriott hotel(s) offering your special group rate:  Marriott at the University of Dayton for 112.00 USD  per night
Start date: 3/7/19
End date: 3/10/19
Last day to book: 2/7/19

Definition of School Nursing in Ohio

Asthma and SNAs a professional organization, the Ohio Association of School Nurses recognizes that school nursing is a unique and special practice of nursing.  The practice of school nursing, protects and promotes student health, facilitates optimal development, and advances academic success. School Nurses, grounded in ethical and evidence-based practice, are the leaders who bridge health care and education, provide care coordination, advocate for quality student-centered care, and collaborate to design systems that allow individuals and communities to develop their full potential. Adopted by the NASN Board of Directors February 2017.

In Ohio, the title School Nurse may only be used by OH RNs that have an ODE Professional Pupil Services School Nurse license.  OASN encourages all Registered Nurses working in OH schools to pursue school nurse licensure through the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).   ODE School Nurse Licensure has been proven critical to the professional growth and assimilation of the Registered Nurse into the educational environment. School Nurses are "key to student success".

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