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46 Years Celebrating National School Nurse Day

Nurse Appreciation

Silver Spring, MDNational School Nurse Day, May 9, 2018, is a time to celebrate the specialty practice of school nursing. In 1972, the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) created National School Nurse Day to recognize school nurses and acknowledge their role in the educational setting. NASN applauds the contributions school nurses make every day to improve the safety, health, and academic success of all students.

The theme this year – School Nurses: Advocates for 21st Century Student Health – reinforces the Framework for 21st Century School Nursing Practice which helps direct school nurses to be in the forefront of promoting a culture of health in their communities. It is reflective of the significant roles school nurses have in the health care of their school communities to help make a healthier place for children and families to learn and grow.

“The school nurse voice is more powerful than most of us realize. It is when we help a teacher understand how to alter lesson plans so students with food anaphylaxis can participate in all learning activities. It is when we teach children healthy habits so they can grow and thrive,” said NASN President Nina Fekaris, MS, BSN, RN, NCSN. Adding, “A professional school nurse is needed in every school to care for every child because school nursing is the foundation for student health.”

NASN believes all teachers deserve to have school nurses in their buildings so that teachers can focus on instruction and students’ individual educational needs; and parents deserve to feel secure that children are safe at school and their health needs are met every day by specialized school nurses. School nurses have the skills to plan and implement care for students with chronic and medically complex conditions and prepare school staff to recognize and respond appropriately to potential emergencies. Prevention is key in school wellness and safety, but planned emergency response and disaster preparedness is an essential part of the important role school nurses play.

“It is a tremendous privilege to honor our nation’s school nurses as we celebrate National School Nurse Day,” said NASN Executive Director Donna Mazyck, MS, RN, NCSN. “School nurses influence wellness and disease prevention practices as change agents in schools and communities.”

A message from NASN President Nina Fekaris

It is an incredible honor to recognize the contributions to student health and learning that school nurses make every day! Students across the country are able to fully access their education because of the interventions and actions performed by school nurses every day. This year we celebrate National School Nurse Day on May 9, 2018. Here are some of our “every day” contributions:



Care Coordination

Students with chronic and acute health conditions can have their health needs met at school because of their school nurse’s clinical assessment, judgment, and planning. School staff are trained by school nurses to understand emergency signs and symptoms, and when and how to get help, allowing maximum in-class time for students who require medical interventions.

Quality Improvement

Evidence-based practice is the foundation of school nursing interventions, and data collection is an important step in supporting positive student outcomes. School nurses are putting systems into place that will allow measurement of their actions as they strive to improve their practice.

Standards of Practice

Regardless of specific job duties, populations served, or specialty practices, NASN Standards of Practice provide essential foundational guidance for how a school nurse should act in their professional capacity. School nurses function within the scope of their practice to safeguard student health and safety and promote positive health outcomes.

Community - Public Health

School nurses combat school and community health barriers by partnering with stakeholders to advocate for policies and systems that promote healthy communities. They understand the social determinants of health and their impact upon our most vulnerable populations. School nurses work to mitigate those impacts to support student health and learning.


School nurses optimize student health and learning every day of the year. But, on National School Nurse Day, we take special time to celebrate and recognize the contributions that school nurses are making to the health and learning of our nation’s 50 million children. On May 9th, I wish you a happy National School Nurse Day and, for all you do every day, thank you!



Nina Fekaris, MS, BSN, RN, NCSN
President, National Association of School Nurses

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