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School nurse services   

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A school nurse is a registered nurse currently licensed under Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 2700) of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, and who has completed the additional educational requirements for, and possesses a current credential in, school nursing pursuant to Section 44877.

School nurses strengthen and facilitate the educational process by improving and protecting the health status of children and by identification and assistance in the removal or modification of health-related barriers to learning in individual children. The major focus of school health services is the prevention of illness and disability, and the early detection and correction of health problems. The school nurse is especially prepared and uniquely qualified in preventive health, health assessment, and referral procedures.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the scope of professional practice or otherwise to change the legal scope of practice for any registered nurse or other licensed healing arts practitioner. Rather, it is the intent of the Legislature to provide positively for the health services, many of which may be performed in the public schools only by physicians and school nurses. School nurses may perform, if authorized by the local governing board, the following services:

(a) Conduct immunization programs pursuant to Section 49403 and assure that every pupil's immunization status is in compliance with the law, including parental or guardian consent, and good health practice.

(b) Assess and evaluate the health and developmental status of pupils to identify specific physical disorders and other factors relating to the learning process, communicate with the primary care provider, and contribute significant information in order to modify the pupils' educational plans.

(c) Interpret the health and developmental assessment to parents, teachers, administrators, and other professionals directly concerned with the pupil.

(d) Design and implement a health maintenance plan to meet the individual health needs of the students, incorporating plans directed by a physician.

(e) Refer the pupil and his or her parent or guardian to appropriate community resources for necessary services.

(f) Maintain communication with parents and all involved community practitioners and agencies to promote needed treatment and secure reports of findings pertinent to educational planning.

(g) Interpret medical and nursing findings appropriate to the student's individual educational plan and make recommendations to professional personnel directly involved.

(h) Consult with, conduct in-service training to, and serve as a resource person to teachers and administrators, and act as a participant in implementing any section or sections of a comprehensive health instruction curriculum for students by providing current scientific information regarding nutrition, preventive dentistry, mental health, genetics, prevention of communicable diseases, self-health care, consumer education. and other areas of health.

(i) Counsel pupils and parents by:

(1) Assisting children and youth, parents, and school personnel in identifying and utilizing appropriate and mutually acceptable private and community health delivery services for professional care and remediation of defects.

(2) Counseling with parents, pupils and school staff regarding health-related attendance problems.

(3) Helping parents, school personnel and pupils understand and adjust to physical, mental and social limitations.

(4) Exploring with families and pupils, attitudes, information and values which affect their health behavior.

(j) Assist parents and pupils to solve financial, transportation and other barriers to needed health services.

The holder of a services credential with a specialization in health for a school nurse who also completes the requirements for a special class authorization in health in a program that is approved by the commission is authorized to teach classes on health in a preschool, kindergarten, grades 1 to 12, inclusive, and classes organized primarily for adults.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 172, Sec. 4.)