School Nurse Corps Overview
Washington State School Nurse Corps was established and funded by the state legislature to support registered nursing services in small, rural school districts. For over 20 years, School Nurse Corps has promoted equitable access to student health services and expanded the capacity of school districts to provide safe and healthy learning environments and optimal health for each student. Through partnerships with schools, public health, and regional, state and national agencies, School Nurse Corps focuses on improving student health outcomes, safety and readiness to learn.
All children receive equitable, full access to school nursing services to be healthy, safe and successful in school and life.
- School district funding in support of registered nursing hours.
- Health services support for school nurses and school district administrators, including consultative and technical services, quality improvement efforts, and school nurse orientation, mentoring, resource access and professional development opportunities.
NCESD School Nurse Corps Calendar lists events related to School Nursing and School Nurse Case Management: educational events, webinars, meetings and tasks. Click the title for information about the event, including registration and/or connection information.
You can also view an updated list of professional development opportunities for school nurses on the “Professional Development” tab or you can view/download/print here.
To post an event:
Event postings are related to school nurse practice. Postings require: event title, date, start and end time, location (with street address), and an event description (including a contact name, phone or email, and, if applicable, an agenda, electronic address and event code, event flyer, or photo).
There is no charge for event postings.
Please submit posting requests to: Sheila Salmon at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that all requests are subject to review. We hold the right to refuse a posting without explanation.
This list of professional development opportunities for school nurses is compiled by the NCESD School Nurse Corps team. We update this document regularly and it is automatically reflected below. You can download and/or print the document too. If you have questions, please contact Sheila Salmon for assistance.
The Resource Guide is a collection of frequently used resources for school nurses to use in practice and adapt as needed. Developed and maintained by School Nurse Corps Nurse Administrators, this electronic guide compiles resources in a single location and is maintained on the ESD 189 website.
Please direct any questions or suggestions about this guide to Cathy Meuret at NCESD (509-665-2625).
Resource Guide Table of Contents
Section 1 – Resource Guide Overview
Section 2 – School Nurse Practice
Section 3 – Individualized Healthcare Plans (IHPs) and Emergency Care Plans (ECPs)
Section 4 – Chronic Conditions Commonly Seen in Schools
Section 5 – Medications
Section 6 – Health Screenings
Section 7 – Immunizations and Communicable Diseases
Section 8 – Management of Emergencies/Disaster Preparedness
Section 9 – Health Education and Staff Training Resources
Section 10 – Legal Issues
Section 11 – Special Education / 504 / Home Hospital Planning Resources
Section 12 – Data Collection / Reports / School Nurse Research
Section 13 – School Nurse Corps Program
Section 14 – Links and Resources
Section 15 – Forms and Templates
Disclaimer: The Resource Guide is not an official publication. It is not endorsed by any agency or organization. The inclusion of links to particular resources is not intended to endorse any particular product, service, or information source, but rather to provide examples that WA State School Nurses have found useful.
Practice Manuals and Guides
School Nurse practice is directed by national and state laws, regulations and standards. The following manuals and guides, developed by WA State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), WA State Department of Health (DOH), WA State Health and Human Services (HHS), National Association of School Nurses (NASN), and other national and state agencies, provide guidelines and evidence-based practices for school nurse actions and responsibilities in the PreK – 12 setting.
Refer to the Resource Guide for links to related WA State RCWs and WACs.
Practices Manuals and Guides
- Abused and Neglected Children (DSHS, 2015)
- AED Manual (WASBO, 2016)
- Anaphylaxis Guidelines (OSPI, 2021)
- Asthma Manual (AMES, 2013)
- Diabetes Clinical Practice Guidelines (NASN, 2021)
- Diabetes Clinical Practice Toolkit (NASN, 2022)
- Diabetes Guidelines (OSPI, 2018)
- Dietary – Accommodating Children with Disabilities in the School Meal Programs (USDA-FNS, 7/2017)
- Dietary Guidelines (HHS, 2015-2020)
- Dietary Special Needs Decision Tree (OSPI, 12/2013)
- Epinephrine Administration (OSPI, 2013)
- FERPA and HIPAA Guidelines for Student Health Records (HHS, 2019)
- Field Trip Standards, Out of State (WSRMP, 2016)
- Health Care Information Guidelines (OSPI, 2001)
- Health Services Staff Model (OSPI, NCQAC, 2000)
- Home/Hospital Services Guidelines (OSPI, 2022)
- How to Respond: Injury and Illness at School (DOH, OSPI, 2016)
- Immunization Manual (WA DOH, 2022)
- Individual Vaccine Requirements Summary (IVRS) (WA DOH, 2022)
- Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Reference Guide (EAP, 2018)
- Indoor Air Quality for Schools Best Management Practices Manual (WA DOH, 2003)
- Infectious Disease Control Guidelines (OSPI, 2014)
- Medication Administration Guidelines (OSPI, 2022)
- Medication Administration in Schools: School Nursing Evidence-based Clinical Practice Guidelines (NASN, 2021)
- Opioid-Related Overdose Policy Guidelines & Training in the School Setting (OSPI, 1/2022)
- Providing Health Care to Minors Under WA Law (RCW 26.28.010 July, 2015)
- School Records Retention WA (SOS, 2020)
- Section 504 Accommodations (Bateman, 2019)
- Section 504 and Disabilities (OSPI)
- Section 504 in Public Schools: A Parent and Educator Resource Guide (ED, 2016)
- Section 504 Guidelines (PSESD, 2010)
- Seizure and Epilepsy Guidelines (NASN, 2018)
- Severe Food Allergies Guidelines (OSPI, 2008)
- Sexual Health Education Implementation in WA State (OSPI, October 2021)
- Staff Training for HIV and BBP Guidelines (OSPI, 2011)
- School Staff Health Training Guide (SNCA, 2022)
- Student Health Services Manual
Technical Manuals and Job Aids
WA State Health Codes
WA State Standardized Health Codes: Code Update Instructions (2019-2020)
Reference for updating the Health Codes in the Skyward system. (Northwest Regional Data Center, 2019)
WA State Student Health Codes (2019)
Reference for the following codes: Reason for Visit; Intervention; Disposition; Chronic Health Condition.
School Nurse Case Management
In addition to the School Nurse Corps, North Central ESD serves as a Washington School Nurse Case Management site. The Nurse Case Management Program, developed in 2010, is the result of a partnership between Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and their Institutional Education and Health Services Departments.
School Nurse Case Managers work with students who are at risk of failing academically due to health-related issues, such as chronic health conditions or emotional concerns that interfere with their ability to participate regularly and fully in school activities. Case Managers work collaboratively with the student, the district’s School Nurse, staff and administrators, providers, parents/families and community agencies, addressing factors that contribute to student absenteeism and poor academic performance and limit student potential.
The objectives of the program are to:
- Improve health and self-management of health conditions
- Increase student attendance
- Improve academic achievement
Since the program’s inception, case management services have been implemented in eleven school districts in Educational Service Districts 171, 123 and 113. Districts were selected based on multiple risk factors such as high levels of poverty and unemployment, and a demonstrated need for more school nursing hours.
The Washington School Nurse Case Management Program is supported by Federal Title 1 Part D, Health Services funding. Districts eligible for case management services meet specific criteria outlined in the Title 1, Part D program and demonstrate a need for increased nursing hours as documented by the Washington State Assessment of District Student Health Services. Funding in North Central Washington supports School Nurse Case Management in two school districts.
- Student Entry Survey
- Student Entry Survey 2
- Intake/Annual Assessment Form
- Initial Student Assessment_Grades 6-12
- Initial Student Assessment_Grades K -5
- Academic WIG Planner
- Referral Form
- Authorization for Exchange of Medical Information
- SNCM Site Visit Form
Check and Connect © Forms:
- Student Engagement
- Student Engagement Plan
- Relationship Building
- Goal Setting
- Monitoring: Elementary School
- Monitoring: Middle School
- Monitoring: High School
- Pyramid Intervention Supports
- Nurse Case Manager/Mentor Caseload Summary
- Form Editing Instructions
Motivational Interviewing (MI)
- Glossary Of Motivational Interviewing Terms. A supplementary resource to Motivational Interviewing, Third Edition, by William R. Miller and Stephen Rollnick. Copyright 2013 by The Guilford Press.
- School Nurse and Motivational Interviewing. A recorded NASN webinar introduces Motivational Interviewing techniques and the role of the school nurse in incorporating MI in student and parent interactions. (34:07 – Access to recording requires NASN account) PowerPoint Slides
- Introduction to Motivational Interviewing. Author Bill Matulich presents the basic concepts of Motivational Interviewing (MI) (17.22).
- Native American Learners Motivational Interviewing Manual– A Learner’s Manual for the American Indian/Alaska Native Counselor. Motivational Interviewing considerations and techniques for Native American populations.
- Native American Motivational Interviewing: Weaving Native American and Western Practices – A Manual for Counselors in Native American Communities. (2006)
Manuals and Tools:
- SNCM Program Manual
- SNCM FileMaker Documentation
- SNCM Orientation Overview
- Standards of Practice for Case Management
- Teaching Attendance Manual
- Teaching Attendance 2.0 Summary
© 2018 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
The Introduction to School Nursing program provides information and resources to help registered nurses transition to the specialty practice of school nursing. This orientation program is intended for nurses new to the school nurse role or who have limited experience working in a school environment.
Welcome to the School Nurse Lending Library
The School Nurse Corps Lending Library contains Books, Hearing Screening Audiometers, Staff Curriculum, Student Curriculum, Training Kits and Models, Vision Screening: SPOT Screener and Vision Screening: WA State Vision Screening Kits. Library materials are available to all school nurses in Chelan, Douglas, Grant and Okanogan counties as well as other healthcare professionals. The library’s collection is managed in an electronic system, Lend-Items. To request a library account, contact Sheila Salmon at email@example.com. A completed SNC Lending Library Borrower Agreement is required.
School Nurse Toolkits
School Nurse Competency
About the School Nurse Role
School nursing is a unique and challenging specialty within the nursing profession. The school nurse is often the only licensed healthcare professional in a school district, providing health services oversight for district students ranging from grades Pre-K to 12. With expertise in health improvement and health management, primary prevention, emergency response, care coordination, and team collaborations, school nurses are uniquely qualified to support school and student efforts toward academic success. On a day-to-day basis, the school nurse conducts student assessments of physical and behavioral issues and social determinants of health status, develops healthcare plans and emergency care plans, conducts staff training, connects with parents, connects with student support staff, such as counselors, therapists and special education teachers, connects with providers, conducts a wide range of service referrals to meet student needs, ensures screening and reporting requirements are met, ensures that medication management and administration and treatments are performed safely, collects district, state and national health data, manages health room activities, and serves as the health consultant on issues impacting student and staff health and safety. The work is varied, rewarding and fast-paced, with a workload impacted by school nurse-to-student ratios, student health conditions, and potentially limited contract hours. School nurses adhere to nationally-defined scope and standards of practice and are required to maintain competence in the position.
Classified School Nurse Position
A nurse in a classified position may hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN) or advanced nursing degree from an accredited program or an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), a Washington State Registered Nurse license, or a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) license. Classified positions are district support positions that do not require certification or licensure (or are not eligible for WA State certification) to perform a job. Classified nurse positions align with non-teaching support staff under a district’s classified employee contract and pay scale.
Certificated School Nurse Position
A school nurse in a certificated position holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing or advanced nursing degree from an accredited program, a Washington State Registered Nurse license, and Educational Staff Associate (ESA) certification from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Certificated school nurse positions align with the district’s teacher contract and pay scale. A district may require their school nurse to obtain and maintain school nurse ESA certification.
School Nurse Certifications
WA State ESA Certification for School Nurses
Educational Staff Associate (ESA) certificates are awarded to qualified registered nurses by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) under administration of the State of Washington Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB). For information on ESA certification qualifications, various levels of certification, renewal requirements, and temporary permits, refer to: OSPI Educational Staff Associate (ESA) Certificates.
To obtain initial ESA certification, new school nurses must complete a Professional Transitions course approved by PESB. Nurses are encouraged to complete a course that focuses specifically on school nursing. Approved nursing courses are offered by Pacific Lutheran University Center for Continued Nursing Learning, University of Washington School of Nursing, and Washington State University School of Nursing. For information about approved courses and course contacts, see: Professional Transitions to the Public Schools: Initial ESA Certification
All school nurses, particularly those new to the school nurse role or new to school nursing in Washington State, are encouraged to complete an ESA certification course for school nurses, whether or not their position requires ESA certification. These courses introduce:
- National, state and local school and special education laws and policies and their application to decision-making processes in the educational setting
- Professional school nursing standards and code of ethics to inform practice
- Appropriate strategies to support student outcomes, including scientifically-based practices, collaborative teaming, and ethical decision making
- How to work within a schools culture to create an environment that fosters student safety, health and learning
- How to collaborate with team members, including parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, and others to support learning outcomes for all students
- How to access resources in the school setting and community
WA State Conditional ESA for School Nurses
A Conditional ESA Certificate is available for employers that would like to hire a nurse to a certificated school nurse position on the basis of experience and expertise, recognizing that the nurse does not meet the required qualifications to obtain ESA Certification. The Conditional ESA Certificate is valid for two years or less and may be renewed. This certificate must be initiated by the employer. Once the employer request has been submitted to OSPI, the nurse can submit an application for a conditional certificate. See the OSPI Conditional ESA webpage for information
Maintaining ESA Certification
Continuing education is a requirement for ESA certification renewal. For educators, continuing education units of credit are referred to as “clock hours”. For ESA certificated staff who hold a WA State Department of Health registered nurse license, acceptable units of credit for ESA renewal include other credit types – those that satisfy the continuing education requirements for their nursing license. ESA certificated school nurses may use continuing education units (CEUs), college credits and clock hours to meet ESA renewal requirements. For additional information, see “Department of Health License Hours as Clock Hours” on the OSPI Continuing Education Clock Hours webpage. ESA certificated nurses are encouraged to check professional development events to determine whether units of credit are available and to maintain documentation of professional development completion in a professional portfolio.
Maintaining Competency for State Licensure
All registered nurses and licensed practical nurses in Washington State are required to actively practice and to earn continuing education hours to meet the clinical competency requirement for licensure renewal. A range of professional development activities meet the continuing education requirement for licensure renewal. See Nurse Licensing Continuing Competency.
National School Nurse Certification
The National Certified School Nurse (NCSN) credential is awarded by the National Board for Certification of School Nurses (NBCSN). Obtaining national certification in the school nursing specialty is a mark of professional distinction for a school nurse, reflecting competence and professionalism.
pdEnroller is a web service used by all Washington State Educational Service Districts to manage professional development courses. pdEnroller supports a course calendar that is searchable by state and by ESD region, course descriptions, course enrollment, course payment, course enrollment cancellation, course evaluations, clock hour purchases, and clock hour tracking. Users are responsible for creating their personal pdEnroller account and maintaining accurate profile information. See NCESD pdEnroller
Professional Practice Resources
- Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission (NCQAC)
- National Association of School Nurses (NASN)
- National Association of State School Nurse Consultants, Inc. (NASSNC)
- School Nurse Organization of Washington (SNOW)
- Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA)
- American Nurses Association (ANA)
- NASN Scope and Standards of Practice
Available for purchase in the NASN Bookstore and online book sellers.
Continuing Education and Resources
National Association of School Nurses (NASN)
NASN has many resources, tools, and continuing education opportunities. Some materials and continuing education are also available to non-members.
NCESD CE Credits Online
CE Credits Online offers courses that are approved for clock hours through NCESD and are eligible for graduate-level professional development credit towards Washington State License Renewal from our regionally-accredited university partners. Purchase courses and clock hours through NCESD and graduate credits through CE Credits Online.
HEAL WA is Washington State’s online library for all health practitioners. Create your own free HEAL WA account and access ejournals, ebooks, toolkits, databases, drug information, and continuing education, including Nursing Reference Center Plus.
Our School Nurse Corps Staff
Cathy MeuretNurse Corps Director
Email Cathy Meuret
Melissa BarajasCovid 19 Screening/Testing Coordinator
Email Melissa Barajas
Sheila SalmonAdministrative Assistant
Email Sheila Salmon
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