Highline Public Schools Nurses coordinate and provide health services to promote a healthy school community and maximize educational outcomes.
What Do School Nurses Do?
The primary role of a school nurse is to support student learning by helping students and staff to stay as healthy as possible during the school day. Highline Schools have an equivalent of almost 15 full time school nurses. Each school nurse supports at least two schools in the following ways:
- Identifies and anticipates health concerns and creates care plans needed at school in the event of an emergency for students with known health problems.
- Educates and trains staff on emergency interventions for serious health concerns such as life-threatening allergies to food, bees and other allergens, seizures, diabetes and any other serious health concerns of medically fragile students.
- Provides health assessments as mandated by state law for: vision and hearing. She/he also participates in special education assessments to provide needed support for students with health related educational needs.
- Provides training and resources to students, staff and families regarding health concerns and health care resources.
- Administers, supervises and trains others in the administration of medications to students.
- Delegates and trains staff to provide first aid for illness and injuries.
- Assesses and treats illnesses and injuries.
- Collaborates with parents and health care providers for health needs at school.
- Monitors and educates about communicable diseases and health issues.
- Teaches First Aid and CPR.
- Provides health education to students, staff and parents.
- Verifies Immunization compliance.
- Provides counseling on mental and physical health needs
School nurses are supported by a team of professional and dedicated Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN's). The LPN's provide help by doing prescribed treatments for medically fragile students, such as blood glucose monitoring, tube feedings, etc. They also help track immunizations, health assessments and provide care for illnesses and injuries when possible.
The differences between RN's and LPN's:
School Nurses: are Registered Nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from an accredited four year college. They must have a Washington State Educational Staff Associate (ESA) Certificate in School Nursing. They are required to have extensive post-graduate coursework not limited to: counseling, crisis intervention, school health, pediatric nursing, special education, etc. Most of our School Nurses are experienced in other fields of nursing and many have additional education, such as Master degrees in education, nursing or other fields.
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN's): must have a minimum of a high school diploma and have graduated from an accredited year long LPN program at a community college. Many of the LPN's come with years of nursing experience in other fields. they may not practice as a nurse unless under the supervision of an RN or M.D.