2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the School Nurse Corps.
Read on to learn more about the history and impact of this important program.
School Nurse Corps Program Overview
Research shows that access to a registered nurse in the school setting promotes student safety, improves attendance, fosters academic achievement, reduces health and educational disparities, and contributes to creating engaged and informed citizens. However, not all school districts have the resources to provide nursing services, particularly smaller, rural districts. In support of these districts, the Washington State Legislature allocates funds to support the School Nurse Corps (SNC) Program. Based on available funds, the SNC Program supports registered nurse services for participating school districts.
The SNC Program is administered by the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and regionally by nine Educational Service Districts, including North Central Educational Service District 171 (NCESD).
All children receive equitable, full access to school nursing services to be healthy, safe and successful in school and life.
The School Nurse Corps, in partnership with schools, families and communities, improves student health outcomes, safety, and readiness to learn. The School Nurse Corps promotes equity by increasing access to student health services and by expanding public school districts’ capacity to provide a safe and healthy learning environment.
The School Nurse Corps Program supports services, educational opportunities and health programs to meet the following five objectives:
- Student safety will be maintained and increased through a system of direct student services and regional technical assistance.
- Basic nursing services (RN) will be provided to districts being served, as funds allow.
- All students identified with life-threatening conditions will have an emergency care plan (ECP) developed, implemented and managed by a School Nurse (RN), including staff training, delegation and supervision.
- All students identified with conditions requiring either an individual health plan (IHP) or Americans with Disabilities 504 plan will have a care plan developed, implemented and managed by a School Nurse (RN), including staff training, delegation and supervision.
- The School Nurse (RN) will provide training, delegation and ongoing RN supervision for district staff who administer medications and medical treatments to students.
The SNC Program Administrator and support staff:
- Assist with hiring and assigning SNC nurses based on program priorities.
- Provide ongoing training, orientation and supervision of SNC nurses.
- Maintain a lending library and online materials to support school nurse competence and instructional activities for students and staff.
- Provide consultation and technical assistance to school districts in matters related to school health services.
- Provide professional development opportunities to school district nurses.
Provide direct clinical nursing services to select school districts.
- Liaison between OSPI, local school districts, local health jurisdictions, and community partners.
- Assist OSPI with school health services data collection and collaborative efforts in support of SNC Program priorities.
- Provide intensive services (e.g., intensive onsite health services, vision and hearing screening assistance) on a fee-for-service basis.
School Nurse Corps Program staff:
Cathy Meuret, MAEd, BSN, RN
School Nurse Corps Administrator
Professional Services Team Secretary