School Health Nursing Services Progress Review: Report of 1996 National Meeting

By Brainerd, Elaine | Journal of School Health, January 1998 | Go to article overview

School Health Nursing Services Progress Review: Report of 1996 National Meeting


Brainerd, Elaine, Journal of School Health


In September 1996 the Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Center for School Health Nursing at the American Nurses Association (ANA) convened an invitational meeting School Health Nursing Services: Progress Review 1996 in Washington, DC. Representatives from nearly 20 national organizations and agencies participated. The meeting's purposes were to 1) review progress in implementing priority actions identified at the 1994 conference on School Health Nursing Services: Exploring National Issues and Priorities, and 2) identify additional priority actions that need to be implemented to advance school health nursing.

BACKGROUND

Given the physical and mental health needs of students and the increasing responsibilities of schools to address these health needs in a time of declining resources, the National Nursing Coalition for School Health sponsored the School Health Nursing Services: Exploring National Issues and Priorities conference in Reston, Virginia in 1994 in collaboration with the Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and the Bureau of Primary Health Care, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA); and the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, US Dept. of Education.

The original conference convened representatives from nearly 50 national nongovernmental and governmental organizations to identify critical issues that should be addressed collaboratively by national health and education organizations to assure that school nurses are able to meet the needs of students. The conference objectives were to 1) describe the state of school health nursing services, 2) describe federal agency efforts to help school health nurses meet the needs of students, and 3) identify key priority needs that relevant governmental and nongovernmental agencies can address to help school nurses meet the needs of students. A detailed report of the results of the 1994 conference was published in the Journal of School Health,[1] and reprinted in the Journal of School Nursing[2] the following year.

In response to recommendations made at the 1994 conference, CDC/DASH provided initial funding to the American Nurses Association (ANA) to work with the National Nursing Coalition for School Health in the establishment of a National Center for School Health Nursing to assist organizing the collaborative efforts of interested nongovernmental and governmental organizations. The National Nursing Coalition for School Health with representatives from the American Nurses Association, American Public Health Association, American School Health Association, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates and Practitioners, National Association of School Nurses, and the National Association of State School Nurse Consultants serves as the advisory board for the new Center.

The mission of the National Center for School Health Nursing is to advance excellence in school health nursing practice in order to optimize the health and learning of all children and youth. The Center's goals evolved from seven key needs that are critical to advancing school health nursing which were identified by the participants of the 1994 conference. These include the need to:

* define and advance the role of the school nurse in the comprehensive school health program,

* implement school health nursing standards,

* address pressing legal and ethical concerns,

* inform policymakers about the nature of contemporary school health nursing services,

* provide more appropriate preservice and inservice professional preparation for school health nurses,

* conduct research about school health nursing services, and

* secure adequate funding for school health nursing services.

SCHOOL HEALTH NURSING SERVICES: PROGRESS REVIEW 1996

Participants at the School Health Nursing Services: Progress Review 1996 conference reviewed the priority actions identified for each of the seven needs delineated in 1994. …

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