National School Nurse Day, May 6, 2020, is a time to celebrate the specialty practice of school nursing. In 1972, the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) created National School Nurse Day to recognize school nurses and acknowledge their role in the educational setting. NASN applauds the contributions school nurses make every day to improve the health, safety, and academic success of all students.
The theme this year – School Nurses: Supporting Students in Times of Crisis – reinforces the changing times of 2020. This year, more than ever, all members of our school communities, school nurses included, have been required to take on unprecedented roles and adapt quickly to changes in their jobs. It is reflective of the significant roles school nurses have in the health care of their school communities to help make a healthier place for children and families to learn and grow during this crisis.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the essential school nurse role. Whether we are physically present in our health offices, or working virtually to support our students, the role of school nurses in public health, in policy development, in care coordination and education is essential,” said NASN President Laurie Combe, MN, RN, NCSN. “A professional school nurse is needed for every school because school nursing is the foundation for student physical and mental health.”
NASN believes all teachers deserve to have school nurses in their buildings so that teachers can focus on instruction and students’ individual educational needs; and parents deserve to feel secure that children are safe at school and their health needs are met every day by school nurses. School nurses have the knowledge and skills to plan and implement care for students with chronic and medically complex conditions and prepare school staff to recognize and respond appropriately to potential emergencies. Prevention is key in school wellness and safety, and planned emergency response and disaster preparedness in schools require the expertise of school nurses.
“In this global Year of the Nurse, it is an honor to recognize our nation’s school nurses as we celebrate National School Nurse Day,” said NASN Executive Director Donna Mazyck, MS, RN, NCSN. “School nurses influence wellness and disease prevention practices in our communities now more than ever during these changing times.”
The National Association of School Nurses is a non-profit specialty nursing organization, first organized in 1968 and incorporated in 1977, representing school nurses exclusively. NASN has more than 17,000 members and 50 affiliates, including the District of Columbia and overseas school nurses. The mission of NASN is to optimize student health and learning by advancing the practice of school nursing. Please visit us on the Web at www.nasn.org