The New Public Health Role for School Nurses

The new strategy for nursing, midwifery and health visiting, ‘Making a Difference’ envisages radical changes to the structure, pay and education for all these professions.

School Nurses are also called upon to lead teams and to develop their public health role, helping young people to make choices for a healthy lifestyle, to reduce risk taking behaviour and to focus on issues such as teenage pregnancy.

In the light of ‘Making a Difference’, the new role of the school nurse is:

  • assessing the needs of school children and school communities agreeing individual and school health plans and delivering these through a multi-disciplinary partnership

  • playing a role in immunisation and vaccination programmes

  • contributing to personal health and social education and to citizenship training

  • working with parents to promote parenting

  • offering support and counselling, promoting positive mental health in young people

  • advising and co-ordinating healthcare to children with medical needs

Uniquely, the CPHVA is the only nursing organisation that has a dedicated Professional Officer with a school nursing background looking after the interests of school nurses. The CPHVA is a specialist professional body whose interests are solely concentrated on championing the cause of the community practitioner, and school nursing is a pivotal specialism.

Pat Jackson is the Professional Officer for School Nurses. She has worked in school health since 1987 and since then her experience has covered clinical practice, management and education within school health

Reading list for school nursing