Expanding School-Based Health: Identifying Needs of School Nurses

Work will soon be coming to a close on a needs assessment of school nurses in Moses Taylor Foundation’s 11 County region of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

As previously announced, the Foundation is thrilled to partner with the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) to conduct this assessment and learn more about the barriers that local school nurses face in meeting the health needs of their students, as well as some potential solutions for how to best support them in overcoming these barriers.

NASN is currently working on its final compilation of the information gathered and recommendations, which will be provided to the Foundation in March. Moses Taylor Foundation will then spend time reviewing the needs assessment with a planned public release of results during back-to-school time in the Fall.

Thus far, NASN’s Director of Research has led a team in reviewing existing data on the health of local school-age children, as well as state and district policies relating to school health. NASN then used this data to shape an online survey that was distributed to school nurses and district officials in the Fall.

After those results were collected, additional one-on-one interviews with stakeholders, as well as in person group convenings of school nurses helped provide additional context. Thanks to assistance from the Pennsylvania Association of School Nurses and Practitioners, Northeast Intermediate Unit, Pennsylvania Department of School Health, and Pennsylvania State Education Association Northeast Region, more than 100 school nurses participated in the online surveys and in person convenings, representing about 50% of total school nurses in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

In addition to helping the Foundation shape its funding strategy for supporting school nurses going forward, a wide range of additional potential uses for the data contained in the assessment have already emerged throughout this process, including for advocacy efforts, general community education about the role of modern school nurses, as well as education for funders about the impact school nurses have on student health.

For more information about the Foundation’s work to support older adult isolation, feel free to contact me.

Christine Marcos
Program Officer