Expanding School-Based Health: Providing Support to School Nurses

When schools in our region began to shut down in March, Moses Taylor Foundation had just completed a partnership with the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) to conduct a needs assessment of school nurses in our region.  While more work remains to be done to interpret the results and develop a coordinated strategy going forward, it was clear that school nurses play a vital role in the health and education of our children.

We are currently working with local school nurses to identify ways to support them as they take on the daunting task of keeping kids healthy while returning to school in the midst of the pandemic. One way we are doing this is by providing personal protective equipment and sanitation supplies for use in the school nurse office. Local members of the Pennsylvania Association of School Nurses and Practitioners (PASNAP) advised the Foundation on the most needed items, such as masks, face shields, gowns, sanitizing wipes, and gloves, which are included in packages being delivered to school nurses throughout the region. To date, more than 120 Certified School Nurses have taken advantage of the program.

Lisa Sheerer, school nurse for North Pocono Middle School, is one of the recipients and emphasized the great need for these items, “It has been difficult to find supplies, especially disinfectant wipes. Thank you for supporting school nurses during this challenging time. This is appreciated more than you know.”

Finally, some may wonder what the role of the school nurse currently looks like in districts that are operating virtually.  Unsurprisingly from what we have learned about the school nurses in our community, they are far from idle! For a snapshot of all the ways our school nurses have been providing a health safety net for students and families in the absence of in-person interaction, check out this helpful infographic from NASN.

For more information about the Foundation’s work to support school nurses, feel free to contact me.

Christine Marcos
Program Officer