The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the role and importance of school nurses in protecting and promoting the health and safety of our school children and school staff. From the very start of the pandemic, Wisconsin school nurses have provided public health expertise and leadership regarding infection control measures in schools.
The Wisconsin Association of School Nurses (WASN), representing 232 registered nurses working in Wisconsin schools, supports these front-line healthcare professionals in their continued efforts to protect all school-aged children, school staff and the communities in which they live and work. WASN, along with the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), supports pediatric vaccination against COVID-19 (https://www.nasn.org/blogs/nasn-inc/2021/11/03/nasn-supports-pediatric-vaccination against-covid). With school-aged children age 5+ now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, school nurses may be assisting school districts in hosting school located vaccination clinics and providing vaccine education materials and information to parents and caregivers.
WASN encourages school nurses and school districts to follow evidence-based, public health recommendations for layered prevention measures in schools. School nurses have been directly providing a number of these strategies, including symptom surveillance, COVID testing, contact tracing, along with health education.
In addition to these infection prevention measures, school nurses are responsible for the direct care of acutely ill and injured students, safety planning for students with chronic or life-threatening health conditions, medication management, health screenings, performance of skilled nursing care, and supporting student wellness and mental health.
WASN is committed to enhancing the health, safety and educational success of Wisconsin school children. This can be accomplished by implementing layered evidence-based public health prevention strategies.