The ADE School Nursing and Health Services page is designed to optimize student health and learning by advancing the practice of School Nursing in Arizona. The following resources, tools, and events are available to support you in your practice.
On May 10th, 2023, we celebrated National School Nurse Day! School Nurses have been critical in improving public health and ensuring student academic success for more than 120 years! The Arizona Department of Education’s Comprehensive School Wellness and Arizona School Nurse Access Program celebrated with school nurses, administrators, and educators across Arizona to honor school nurses' commitment to supporting our students and schools daily. During this time, we read the School Nurse Day Proclamation, celebrated our school’s nurses, and invited school administrators, board members, and health professionals in leading a discussion on fostering working relationships that allow the schools and school districts to be successful in meeting annual academic outcomes.
In addition, this year we celebrated several successes in Arizona School Nursing. We cannot wait to see what next year brings!
School Nurse Celebrations:
Multiple PD opportunities were offered to all school health staff. All opportunities were recorded and can be found on the ADE website.
National Certified School Nurses (NCSNs) in Arizona
74 National Certified School Nurses (NCSNs) in Arizona, of which 43 nurses participated in the ASAP program and successfully passed their exam to become NCSNs in the past year.
“NCSN provides a valuable indication of competency in school nurse practice”- Stephanie Klever (Arizona Nurse, Oct 2022)
The Arizona School Nurse Access Program celebrated:
39 School nurses hired in rural schools through ASAP.
40 Mentor nurses trained to support new nurses.
52 New nurses participating in School Nurse Courses
13 Nurses participating in the Transition to Practice program.
2022 ASAP School Nurse Conference
At the 2022 School Nurse Convention, the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Karen Reuter!
Thank you, school nurses, for the commitment you bring each day to keep our students safe, healthy, supported, and learning! We could not do it without you! To view the School Nurse Day Event and Celebrations presentation, click below:
More than half a million Arizonans are at-risk of losing AHCCCS coverage as a result of changes made to AHCCCS/KidsCare medical coverage. Children’s Action Alliance is here to provide resources to assist individuals and families retain AHCCCS or if losing coverage, how to find affordable comprehensive coverage.
AHCCCS (Medicaid in AZ) was not allowed to disenroll members during the pandemic. Membership has grown by about 1/3 to 2.5 million. Continuous Enrollment ended April 1, 2023.
AHCCCS (DES) must redetermine eligibility for all 2.5 million members. The redetermination process will take about 12 months. AHCCCS estimates 650,000 members are at risk of losing coverage during 2023. Approximately 350,000 people are in households that have not responded to AHCCCS’s attempt to reach them.
36% of the at-risk AHCCCS members are children (not yet 19 years of age).
Schools that invoice AHCCCS for therapeutic services may see a reduction in income.
AHCCCS members need to update their contact information as soon as possible or may be dropped for lack of response. Please see the attached flyer for consumers.
The Arizona Seizure Safe Schools Act – SB 1654 was signed on April 29th, 2022. SB 1654 allows parents or guardians of a student with a seizure disorder to submit a seizure management and treatment plan to a school district or charter school and ensure the plan is made available to school personnel responsible for the supervision of the student. In addition, the act requires school personnel, who have regular contact with a student with a submitted plan, to complete online training on seizure recognition and first aid every five years. To read the full law, please click here.
To best prepare for this new law, in collaboration with the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, the Epilepsy Foundation, and the School Nurse Seizure Action Plan Committee, a seizure action plan has been created. To access this form, navigate to the School Nursing and Health Services page under Nursing Services, Tools, and Delegation, where you will find the Seizure Action Plan: Resources, Templates, and Training Information. A webinar was hosted and can now be accessed here. (Passcode: TbhB!q3x)
We encourage you to bookmark this page to access additional specialized resources and detailed information on the guidelines surrounding School Health Services in Arizona.
The October 1st School Nurse Convention was a great success! 90 attendees met at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel in Chandler for presentations delivering updates on new Arizona laws impacting school health services, diabetes, seizure disorders, stock medication programs, and mental health disorders and management solutions. The event brought 15 fantastic school health vendors and celebrated the new school nurses, mentors, and NCSNs through the Arizona School Nurse Access Program. A special congratulations to Karen Reuter, MSN, RN, for being awarded the first Arizona School Nurse Lifetime Service Award!
Healthy Kids AZ is a mobile app built specifically for Arizona’s school nurses and child care staff who take care of our pediatric population on a daily basis. The app provides access to an up-to-date resource in the palm of their hand. With Healthy Kids AZ, school nurses, and childcare staff can:
Access the AZ Infectious Disease and Childcare & School Health “Flip Charts”
Search for public clinics, FQHCs, RHCs, dental clinics, and vision & hearing clinics in your area
Contact your local public health department with one 1-click
Find AZ-required vaccines and infection control guidance
If you haven't before, make sure you check out this great resource!
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that teenagers and adults get updated booster shots from Pfizer or Moderna. This shot, also called a bivalent vaccine, targets both the original coronavirus strain and the current omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5. Now, to be fully vaccinated, this would include the first 2 vaccines (primary series) and the bivalent booster.
The suggestion for timing for the shot was 12 weeks (post-infection or last vaccination) as the ‘ideal’ spot, but your risk and concerns may modify this. A booster shot aids in temporarily neutralizing antibodies to help prevent infection and transmission, and helps the secondary line of defense. In terms of the type of booster, research doesn’t show a difference with mixing/matching. However, for younger men under 30 years, the risk of myocarditis is higher, so Pfizer may be better as it has less RNA and is seen to have a lower risk. It is okay to get the bivalent booster with other vaccines and we will likely see PSAs encourage same-day vaccination for the bivalent booster and the flu vaccine, especially in those over 65 years.
Lastly, the Pfizer booster is recommended for those 12 and older, and the Moderna vaccine is recommended for those 18 and older. This poses a question for our children. Those 5-11 years hope to see the bivalent booster by the end of 2022. Until then, it is recommended to keep up to date with the primary boosters.
This is very exciting news as we continue to navigate COVID-19 together.
ADE with funding support from ADHS will be implementing the Arizona School Nurse Access Program (ASAP), an aptly named program to expediently increase the number of school nurses in Arizona. The ASAP will support the professional growth and development of both new-to-practice school nurses as well as the incumbent workforce.
Learn more about the goal, mission, and outcomes of the ASAP program HERE.
Arizona offers three stock medication programs for schools: Stock Inhalers, Epinephrine, and Narcan. A school may decide to participate in none, one, two, or all programs. The following information will help you learn more about each program and the necessary steps to complete to offer these programs at your school.
Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) offers an online program, the School Surveillance and Medication Program (SSMP), to assist schools in participating in the stock programs. The SSMP walks you through the requirements including annual training and items that will be needed to implement the program. Currently, MCDPH is working with all Arizona public schools to implement the stock inhaler and epinephrine programs, collecting data and offering the annual standing orders assuming schools sign up through the SSMP and follow the requirements. By starting with the SSMP site, you will gather the information and tips to establish a stock medication program.
The Stock Albuterol Program in Schools was put in place in 2017 by state law HB 2208, Emergency administration of inhalers by trained personnel; immunity; definitions, and is in law as ARS 15-158. The Arizona Asthma Coalition has a thorough description of the program. Questions specific to the implementation may be sent to Ashley Lowe via email at [email protected].
If a school opts to implement the Stock Inhaler Program there are rules, R7-2-810 Emergency Administration of Inhalers, in place by the State Board of Education regarding training, obtaining the medication standing order, and administering procedures in emergencies.
The Stock Epinephrine Program in Schools was put into place in 2018 by state law HB 2085, Emergency administration of epinephrine auto-injectors by trained personnel; immunity and is in law as ARS 15-157.
If a school opts to implement the Stock Epinephrine Program there are rules, R7-2-809 Emergency Administration of Auto-Injectable Epinephrine, in place by the State Board of Education regarding training, storage, and use of the medication in schools. The Kyah Rayne Foundation also helps with the Stock Epinephrine Program in Schools.
The Stock Narcan Program is part of the AZ Opioid Epidemic Act/Action Plan implemented in 2018. The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has a website with information offering a standing order for Narcan and a form to complete to receive a supply of the medication. ADHS also offers some links to Narcan administration training though none are specific for schools. Development of training for schools is in development and discussions are underway to incorporate the Stock Narcan Program within the SSMP. This site will be revised as updates are available.
If you are looking for more resources and how to implement this program within your school, please click here.
Upcoming Training and Professional Development Opportunities
We strive to provide ample opportunities to further the knowledge of school nursing and health services! We encourage participants to attend events if available for the opportunity to engage in the conversation and provide an audience for our presenters and connect with your health service staff. Please view the upcoming training, conferences, and/ or professional development events offered across the state of Arizona.
The 2023 School Nurse Convention will take place from November 17th, 2023 to November 19th, 2023 at Crowne Plaza Phoenix - Chandler. This year's sessions will focus on school nurse leadership and feature school nurse leaders across Arizona! Register today to secure your spot!
Friday, November 17th - Welcome Dinner
Saturday, November 18th - Educational sessions focused on building effective teams, cultivating your inner leader, legislative updates, and telling the school nurse story through data.
Sunday, November 19th - NASN Focus on the Framework Leadership Module
Virtual training and professional development opportunities will be recorded and made available on-demand following the event. Participants are encouraged to attend events if available for the opportunity to engage in the conversation and provide an audience for our presenters. View our recorded and upcoming professional development webinars below.
The Arizona School Nurse Access Program at the Arizona Department of Education hosted a discussion on Emergency Operations Plans (EOP). Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 15-341(A)(31) requires that each school site have an emergency operations plan that meets the minimum state requirements. In addition, modifications to ARS 15-341 (A) (31) will go into law on October 31st, 2023, and states emergency response plans must address how the school and emergency responders will communicate with and provide assistance to students with disabilities. This webinar informed attendees of the minimum requirements that go into basic and inclusive planning and highlight the school nurse's role in responding.
School nursing is a unique specialty in the nursing profession, one that is often quite foreign to nurses when they enter this field of practice with only acute care experience. This webinar provided experienced school nurses with a refresher about the scope of practice and standards of nursing practice as it relates to our state nursing practice laws and introduced new nurses to this important school nursing practice information.
List at least two unique differences between a nurse's scope of practice and standards of practice
Discuss the state scope of practice for nurses and two ways they apply to the school nurse.
State two components of the school nurse’s standard of practice and their application.
Understand the role of nurse delegation to unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) staff while maintaining the delivery of safe student care in the school setting.
Recognize the five Delegation Principles as the right task, the right circumstance, the right person, the right direction and communication, and the right supervision and evaluation.
List the best practice steps for nurses to use to assure UAPs are prepared and able to complete delegated activities in the school setting.
The rapid spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 in Arizona has had devastating consequences, yet we lack vital information about these health consequences. The CoVHORT study at the University of Arizona and Arizona State University is a collaborative effort between public health and medical researchers to try and learn how COVID-19 affects the residents of Arizona. Listen to CoVHORT CATS and the AZ CoVORT as individuals from the study speak on the epidemiology of COVID in youth, the impact of COVID on the whole Child, and how families can get involved.
At the end of the webinar, attendees will:
Understand the epidemiology of COVID in youth.
Identify the impacts of COVID on the whole child.
Learn how families can contribute to our understanding of COVD and long-COVID
The Arizona Department of Education hosted a webinar: Implementing SB 1654: How Schools Can Successfully Meet the Law's Requirements and Establish Seizure Action Plans at Their School. During theis session, participants received information about the law and details for complying with the law. In addition, participants were informed about training requirements and participated in a Q&A. The recording and slides are now available.
On the April School Nurse Huddle, Morgan Scadden, Sensory Screening Program Manager at the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), presented on the Sensory Screening Program at the Arizona Department of Health Services and the changes being made to the ADHS Sensory Screener Training. The recording and slides are now available.
On March 9th, 2023 from 3:30 to 4:45 PM, the Arizona Department of Education hosted a free discussion, A Holistic Approach to Family-School Partnerships, led by the Arizona State University REACH Institute. Research overwhelmingly demonstrates that involving families in educational partnerships is essential to student success. Approaching this work through a holistic lens is critical for creating and sustaining positive relationships between schools and families. This session focused on the benefits of these partnerships, the challenges of engaging families, and strategies to facilitate family engagement. A holistic approach encompassing a culturally responsive and trauma-informed framework was highlighted.
Objectives: Gain an understanding of the critical value of creating and maintaining positive family-school partnerships to promote student success; Articulate an understanding and engage in practices to work with students and families from a sociocultural perspective; Increase their knowledge of tangible strategies with which to engage families and students; Recognize contextual factors that impact family-school partnerships.