School Nurse Day 2024: Encouraging the Next Generation of School Nurses

We want to express our sincere appreciation for the incredible efforts of school nurses. Every day, you play a vital role in ensuring the health and well-being of students in our schools. From administering medications and treating injuries to providing emotional support and promoting healthy habits, your dedication knows no bounds.

This past week, we asked you to share your experiences, advice, and best practices to help empower the next generation of school nurses. Your responses gave us even more insight into how essential you are for nurturing students’ health and well-being.

Below are just some of the submissions we received.

What Would You Like to Share with Future School Nurses?

“Each student is unique.  Each student has their own story and their own history.  Even the frequent flyers are searching for something. It may be your touch, tone of your voice, or calmness of your clinic that brings them some comfort and peace. The days get hectic, but you are making a difference in each of these students’ lives.” – Dawn P.

“In school nursing, compassion with consistency is key. Each student that walks into your office has a story beyond the one that brought them to you. Be kind, be empathetic, and listen to them. Follow up on the issues that you see, call home when you have concerns, and use your resources. Sometimes all it takes is one person to take the extra step to make a huge difference in a child's life, and that one person could be you!” – Casey R.

“Get to know the students and staff outside of the health office. Take some time visiting the cafeteria during lunchtime, show up at the student’s after school activities, volunteer to be on committees. We are all so busy every day, but every so often, leave the office (even five minutes  every other week), to walk around and be present in the school. Getting to know the community you work in gives a whole new perspective to the students you care for.” – Katie P.

“School nursing is a specialty with many unique challenges and rewards. Realize that you will not know everything on day one, day 50, or day 2,000. Trust your training and experience. Connect with other school nurses, mentor when you can, and ask for help when you need it. You got this!” – Rebekkah D.

“When you are feeling overwhelmed between paperwork, screenings, and students coming into the office, take time to reground yourself. Remind yourself daily why you are here and who you are here to help.” -Alison S.

“Be patient, calm, and listen.  Sometimes we feel hurried to get through a checklist of "must-dos" and may miss an opportunity to impact a student's life or academic success.” – Colleen H.