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Support for Texas school nurses is a major function of the DSHS School Health Program.
School nursing involves the identification, prevention and intervention to remedy or modify students' health needs. Using clinical knowledge and judgment, the school nurse provides health care to students and staff, performs health screenings and coordinates referrals to the medical home or private healthcare provider. The school nurse serves as a liaison between school personnel, family, community and healthcare providers to advocate for health care and a healthy school environment (American Nurses Association & National Association of School Nurses [ANA & NASN], 2011).
The Texas Education Agency defines a school nurse in 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) § 153.1022 (a) (1) (D) as “… an educator employed to provide full-time nursing and health care services and who meets all the requirements to practice as a registered nurse (RN) pursuant to the Nursing Practice Act and rules and regulations relating to professional nurse education, licensure, and practice and has been issued a license to practice professional nursing in Texas.”
The Board of Nursing believes that school nursing is a professional RN specialty. The RN has the educational preparation and critical thinking skills as well as clinical expertise which are essential to nursing in the school setting. These activities involve the comprehensive assessment of the nursing/health care needs of the student, the development of a plan of care, implementation of the plan, and evaluation of the outcomes. The provision of these services by the RN contributes directly to the students' education and to the successful outcome of the educational process. These essential components of professional nursing practice are the responsibility of the RN in compliance with 22 TAC §217.11(3)(A)
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