Moses Taylor Foundation partnered with the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) to complete the first needs assessment focused on school nurses in our 11-county region of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Numerous school nurses and other stakeholders took part in the assessment, which sought to identify barriers and gaps faced by school nurses in their efforts to improve student health.
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School nurses are crucial to student health, learning outcomes, reduced absenteeism and the greater health and welfare of communities. However, they also face challenges, and occasional misunderstandings, as the only health care professionals within the school setting.
Formally identifying barriers and proposed solutions with this needs assessment was an essential step on a longer-term strategic journey for the Foundation. We have named “expanding school-based health through support for school nurses” as one of our key strategic initiatives, and the needs assessment was used to develop our corresponding strategy to best go about this work in the coming years.
“The work of school nurses has evolved far beyond the common misconception of band-aids and ice packs. In fact, school nurses are on the front lines of children’s health, helping to manage chronic conditions, connecting families to crucial resources, instilling life-long healthy habits, and more. We are honored to help shine a spotlight on the important work they do and to work with partners to assist in amplifying their efforts,” stated Christine Marcos, Senior Program Officer, Moses Taylor Foundation.
Kathy Verbel, Past President of the Pennsylvania Association of School Nurses and Practitioners and a school nurse within the Stroudsburg School District, was instrumental in assisting with the needs assessment.
“The voice of the school nurse can often get lost, yet we have a unique role and perspective at the intersection of education and health. We are excited to have this outlet to share that insight and for the partnership of Moses Taylor Foundation in our efforts to improve the health of children."-Kathy Verbel, Past President of the Pennsylvania Association of School Nurses and Practitioner
“Despite the challenges school nurses face, they are overwhelmingly resourceful, passionate and committed to their profession. They regularly go above and beyond to care for students and families and are a tremendous asset to our community. We look forward to continuing to engage partners within the local educational systems and the community as we champion this work,” added Dr. Mary Sewatsky, Interim President and CEO, Moses Taylor Foundation.