School Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice

The Standards of School Nursing Practice consist of standards for practice as well as professional performance. The standards of practice are the six steps of the nursing process which direct the practice of the school nurse. Similarly, the standards of professional performance describe how the school nurse implements the standards of practice and conducts practice. Together, these standards provide authoritative statements describing evidence of competent school nursing performance.  (School Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, 4th ed, 2022)

The fourth edition of NASN's School Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice is a must-have for every school nurse. You can order your own copy on the NASN website. The book lists specific competencies related to each of the standards. Additional competencies for the graduate-level prepared school nurse can also be found in the book.

Standards of PRACTICE for School Nursing 

  • Assessment: The school nurse collects pertinent data and information relative to the student, family, group, school community, or population.
  • Diagnosis: The school nurse analyzes the assessment data of the student, family, group, school community, or population to describe actual or potential diagnosis.
  • Outcome Identification: The school nurse articulates measurable expected outcomes for a plan individualized to the student, family, group, school community, or population. 
  • Planning: The school nurse develops a collaborative course of action that prescribes strategies to attain expected, measurable outcomes that address the student, family, group, school community, or population.
  • Implementation: The school nurse executes an agreed upon plan/intervention for student, family, group, school community, or population.
    • Coordination of Care. The school nurse aligns care for student, family, group, school community, or population.
    • Health Teaching and Health Promotion. The school nurse employs strategies to improve the health and safety of students, family, group, school community, or population.
  • Evaluation: The school nurse systematically appraises progress toward attainment of student and school population goals and outcomes. 

Standards of PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE for School Nursing

  • Ethics. The school nurse integrates ethics in all aspects of practice.
  • Advocacy. The school nurse demonstrates advocacy in all roles and settings.
  • Respectful and Equitable Practice. The school nurse practices with cultural humility and inclusiveness.
  • Communication. The school nurse effectively conveys information in all areas of practice.
  • Collaboration. The school nurse collaborates with students, families, and key stakeholders.
  • Leadership. The school nurse leads within their professional practice setting and the profession.
  • Education. The school nurse seeks knowledge and competence that reflects the current nursing practice and promotes innovative, anticipatory thinking.
  • Scholarly Inquiry. The school nurse integrates scholarship, evidence, and research findings into practice.
  • Quality of Practice. The school nurse contributes to quality nursing practice.
  • Professional Practice Evaluation. The school nurse appraises one's own and others' school nursing practice.
  • Resource Stewardship. The school nurse utilizes appropriate resources to plan, provide, and sustain evidence-based nursing services that 
    are safe, effective, financially responsible, and used judiciously.
  • Environmental Health. The school nurse practices in a manner that advances environmental safety, justice, and health.