Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Student Health Requirements

School Health Requirements

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So you landed your dream job as a school nurse; now what? Well, one of the first “things” to do will be gathering and reviewing all of your students state required health forms. These forms are typically a physical exam, dental exam, and even an eye exam. Most are completed outside of school with a doctor licensed to practice medicine and then turned into the school nurse; but why? 


Well, since the late 1800s school nurses have been promoting health among students, their families, staff members, and their communities. Requesting, gathering, tracking student health records is one way school nurses help ensure students are healthy and ready to learn. Although this may seem like a daunting task; it is a task worth spending time on- after you know which students have ongoing health conditions and which ones take daily and/or as needed medications. 

Many school nurses, students, and parents have wondered and even asked WHY?  Why are these forms required?  Why do we need to turn them in to the school?  Why do you keep calling me about this?   Those are all great questions and the easy, short answer is because having student health requirements met not only protects each individual student, they also offer  protection to the entire student population.  

Since most children attend school, it makes sense that the schools (especially the school nurse) help the states track the compliance of these school health requirements.  Since I’ve only worked in Illinois as a school nurse, my specific examples will be based around Illinois. I know each state varies slightly with the requirements, but many are the same; you’ll have to search out specifics for your state.

Now what?  You need to find out what the state health requirements are for students enrolled at your school/s and come up with a plan to track compliance. For me, that means using a Google sheet that I’ve created in addition to running Skyward reports. I also keep my non-compliant health charts in a plastic banker’s box in my office so I have easy access. What does this mean for you? How will you keep track of all of your students?  Try something and if it works, great!  If it doesn’t work, then try something else, but keep trying until you find a system that works for you and your students. Pre-COVID I strived for 100% compliance every school year and made it!  Not the case this school year, but I am still trying to collect needed forms and will keep trying too :)

Also, think about how you will store individual student records? I use a hybrid combination of digital (Skyward) but mostly paper copies kept in manila folders. Each student has their own folder complete with a label which has last name, first name DOB and school ID #. I file the most current physical and immunizations in the front and all other forms behind.  Here are links to (similar) products I actually use to organize student health records: 

Hopefully this was a brief and easy to understand explanation. 


Feel free to email me specific questions that I can try to answer in a future post: theschoolnurse@diaryofaschoolnurse.com


Illinois General Assembly (Full Article)


Illinois General Assembly Codes (Child Health Examination Code, 77 Ill. Adm. Code 665)  https://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/077/07700665sections.html

Illinois State Board of Education: Health Requirements


Each state has rules listing the minimum health requirements students must meet in order to attend school. Try searching your state + school health requirements to locate your specific state school health requirements.


2015 DOASN Lillian Wald Blog Post: http://diaryofaschoolnurse.blogspot.com/search?q=lillian+wald

Complete List of Department of State Health Websites: https://www.cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/healthdirectories/healthdepartments.html

Lillian Wald - Henry Street Settlement https://www.henrystreet.org/about/our-history/lillian-wald/

NASN School Health Documentation https://www.nasn.org/nasn/nasn-resources/professional-topics/school-health-documentation

NCSL State Vaccination Policies: Requirements and Exemptions for Entering School https://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-vaccination-policies-requirements-and-exemptions-for-entering-school.aspx

Schools & Health: Our Nation's Investment https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK232693/

State School Nurse Associations


Friday, March 5, 2021

Health Information - Digital Teacher Tips Cards

 Teachers Pay Teachers for The School Nurse

+ this post contains affiliate links +

Are you familiar with the online marketplace Teachers Pay Teachers?

It is one of the most popular online educational resource stores!

Created for teachers, but it’s actually a great online resource for all those working inside of a school (IMO). There are thousands of affordable, thoughtful, and useful resources available literally with the click of a few buttons. Most are available for less than a cup of your favorite coffee, but many are also FREE and who doesn’t like FREE items, right?!  The School Nurse has many free items posted HERE.

Read more about the Teachers Pay Teachers marketplace HERE.

The School Nurse joined this educational resource marketplace in May of 2014. The goal was to share digital products with other school nurses. Products that would hopefully make their day-to-day routines a little easier and more consistent from student to student.  In the beginning, the majority of The School Nurse’s items were PDF but now the majority of Google drive- because that is what I use 99.9% of the time.  

The products listed for sale in The School Nurse TpT store  are products that I actually use in my school nurse practice.  Of course, I’ve edited out the specific school and/or student details, but the concept transfers between schools and usually states.  Worried, these products won’t work for you?  It is OK- the  buyer has the ability to edit and add information to make the product specific to their school and/or student needs.  What works for me, might just be a jumping point for you and just what you needed to get going or finish the next thing on your to-do list!

Click to View Store

Overview of Teacher Tips Digital Health Information Cards

Digital health information cards were one of the very first products created and posted for sale within The School Nurse TpT Store!.

Updated versions are listed for sale today AND they are now editable too!

Why Use Teacher Tips Digital Health Information Cards

As nurses, we often take our knowledge for granted and might even assume that others we work with understand or have a similar knowledge base regarding certain health conditions.

However, as school nurses, we are often viewed as the medical expert within the school setting.

One of the roles of a school nurse is to educate others we work with so they understand what they need to know about certain medical conditions. Does that make sense?

Teacher Tips cards provide an opportunity to educate others within the school on a specific health condition. These teacher tips give broad information on a health condition and invite school staff to ask you for specific details as needed. 

How To Use Teacher Tips Digital Health Information Cards

Way back when, I used to print information sheets and hand deliver them to teachers or put them inside their teacher mailbox; I’m dating myself, right?!  Now, I include these digital Teacher Tips Health Information Cards within the body of an email message to teachers and/or add them as an IHP attachment in Skyward for a specific student.

EMAIL:  Since the Teacher Tips cards offer broad information, I have the option of including more student specific details within the body of the email; information staff would need to know. I can also include a copy of the 504 Plan or ask teachers to reference the 504 Plan for even more specific information. 

SKYWARD: Use Skyward to your advantage! If you have access to the Skyward Health module then consider uploading the teacher tips cards within the Health tab of Skyward Student Management.  Once you have your student screen open select IHP, then “Add File”, enter a form description and then Choose the Teacher Tips file you want to attach ( download as a PDF from Google prior to attaching in Skyward) don’t stop there- Use the Comment box to add student specific information or more detailed information you want to the teacher to be aware of. This is an excellent communication tool and resource between you and the teachers.  Especially at the 6-8 or 9-12 grade levels when student schedules change mid year or without notice. Make sure you utilize the Health Condition tab in Skyward too (great information for another blog post!)

In closing, the items The School Nurse posts in her Teachers Pay Teachers storefront are actual items she uses- or very close variations of those items! These items are created and designed to offer consistency when working with multiple students and sometimes at multiple schools. Please comment if there is a specific health concern or school nursing task that you want to see digital items created for! As always, thank you for your support!

Sunday, February 21, 2021

School Nurse Notebook / Journal

The School Nurse Notebook

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It's a notebook, a planner, a calendar, and an organizer!
A couple of months ago I create The School Nurse Notebook 
with all school nurses in mind, but especially the new school nurse!

Check out this product review by my 
school nurse friend and online mentor My Nursing Journey, 101!

The School Nurse Notebook
Manage Your School Days, Months, and Years!

Table of Contents

Common Monthly Tasks Pages
Pages for Common School Nurse Duties
Monthly Health Education Pages
Professional Goals Pages
Monday - Friday Daily Routine Pages
One Page Undated Yearly Calendar
Lined Pages to Document Details

You think you'll remember all of the details from one year to the next; 
trust me, you will not remember all of the details!

Write what worked and even what didn't work.
Include contact names, numbers, and email address.
Document some awesome brainstorming ideas too.

In addition to written calendars/planners/journals, I also use a digital calendar.
However, there is something about hand written notes 
that helps me remember- can you related?

Are you on the market for a new planning product?
If so, I hope you give this one a try!
The size is perfect too (8x10)!

Purchase your very own here:

Other school nurse options here:


SHOP The School Nurse Amazon Storefront HERE

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Timeline of The School Nurse

 Timeline of The School Nurse

Oftentimes I am asked why and when did The School Nurse begin.
I thought these questions offered the perfect chance to introduce
The School Nurse and include some background.
When it comes to the following social media endeavors,
I'm mostly self taught and have learned by trial and error!

+some links are affiliate links, but only if you purchase an item+

About The School Nurse

This is the perfect "tab" to start with because it explains who The School Nurse is and how & why the blog, Diary Of A School Nurse, began!

Diary Of A School Nurse

2011... The beginning of this blog! I remember creating this blog site while sitting on the deck in my backyard with one of my teacher friends. I had no idea that ten years later it would still be "a thing"! Yes, I think it's still a thing, but it is also so much more- Thanks to all of you :)


2011... Joined Pinterest sitting on a couch with the same teacher friend mentioned above! We both had a love for scrapbooking and Pinterest boards were right up our alley!


2012... I created my first Zazzle storefront sitting by myself at a small round kitchen table. I still have that table, but no longer use it in the kitchen. Thankfully, I also still have my original Zazzle storefront and a couple more too!  The School Nurse Zazzle store offers items created with the school nurse in mind!

Teachers Pay Teachers

2014... I remember reading about Teachers Pay Teachers and thinking it was an amazing idea. I joined and starting creating items back in 2014. At the time I had a purple striped laptop and was sitting at a black wooden sofa table- I still have both! This store received a mini-makeover throughout the 2020 calendar year. Items offered include digital designs to save your mind! All products are electronic downloads (or is it uploads). The majority of the items are Google Drive docs, slides, sheets, and editable. Most cost a small fee, but many are free!


2016... I joined Instagram in 2016 on my cellphone because I thought it was a way to edit pictures! It wasn't until a swim mom & friend told me my account was public and that she was "following me". I made a few settings changes then and have been posting fun photos and quotes for other school nurses ever since!

Facebook Page

2017... I was late to the Facebook party. Originally I joined to keep up to speed with my children's sports teams, then I decided to create The School Nurse page! Here, I share links to various articles, webinars, and other school nurse social media accounts.

Facebook Private Group

2020... This private group was created by The School Nurse for other school nurses. Affiliate links are used and also hopefully helpful resources & practical tips are shared. The information in this group is available for members only!

Facebook Public Group

later in 2020... This public group was created by The School Nurse as a (hopefully) helpful resource for other school nurses. A variety of school nurse related products are promoted via affiliate links. Posts are available to group members, but can be shared AND you can tag your favorite school nurse friend and coworker too. 

Amazon Storefront with Shoppable Photos

just a little later in 2020... The School Nurse was accepted into the #amazoninfluencer program and approved for her own storefront with the ability to share shoppable photos!  

Kindle Direct Publishing

just a little bit later in 2020... I've always dreamed of writing a school nurse book one day! Using KDP was a great way to start this journey with school nurse specific journals, notebooks, and idea planners! Certainly my book will be published in the future too!

If you're still reading this, THANK YOU!

It was fun for me (and hopefully for you too) to look back over the last ten years.

Here's hoping The School Nurse is around for at least another ten too!

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