School Nurses Trained to Care for More Than Bruises and Scrapes

From 1996 to 1999, the National Association of School Nurses, Silver Spring, Md., produced an eight volume series, The Nursing Assessment of School-Age Youth.

These video-illustrated professional development materials are designed to improve the knowledge and skills of school nurses and to increase their capacity to meet the health needs of today's students.

The world in which school nurses operate has changed in the last two decades. Previously focused on maintaining children's health, school nurses must now treat minor illnesses and injuries and screen for serious health problems.

Without health insurance, some students have no other regular source of health care. In addition, students with serious medical conditions and physical handicaps have been mainstreamed into public schools.

Topics for the eight-volume series were selected according to a survey of National Association of School Nurses members funded by the Merck Vaccine Division.

Key Results

  • Each published module includes a manual, videotape (except Modules 7 and 8), self-assessment tests, and an application for continuing education credit for registered nurses.

    Modules were designed to be used as resource materials by nurses in school settings, independent of formal instruction and at the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) professional development sessions.

    Each module carries a user advisory: any user with a publication more than three years old should contact the association to inquire about the latest version. Titles include the following:

    • Module #1: Using the Nursing Process
    • Module #2: Respiratory Function
    • Module #3: Psychosocial Screening
    • Module #4: Cardiovascular Health
    • Module #5: Musculo-Skeletal
    • Module #6: Dermatologic
    • Module #7: School/Community Collaboration
    • Module #8: Nutritional Status
  • Individual titles and complete sets are sold at NASN national conferences, through state NASN organizations, and via the NASN website. Additional handbooks for study groups sharing the video component are also for sale.

  • Modules 1–3 were introduced at NASN national conferences in 1997 and 1998; Modules 4–8 are being introduced and promoted at state conferences throughout 2000 and at NASN's annual meeting in June 2001.

    Other promotion included ads in the Journal of School Nursing and the NASN newsletter and through distribution of posters advertising the series. To date, NASN has sold 1,091 copies of Modules 1–3, requiring a second printing. Sales figures for Modules 4-8 were not available at the time this report was written.

  • The series is now the foundation for a distance learning course accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).