Friday, December 31, 2021

New CDC COVID-19 Guidelines

What are schools supposed to do

with the new CDC guidelines?

Helpful School Nurse Tip:  Remember, many school nurses work alone. There is only so much one professional nurse can do and should be asked to do. Do you best with what you have. Set clear boundaries and follow the guidelines you are asked to follow.


The majority of the school nurses I know are currently trying to enjoy a short winter break. Imagine our shock and surprise when new COVID guidelines were released by the CDC. These new guidelines have created a pile of unanswered questions and possibly more job responsibilities for school nurses and other school staff.  


It is always interesting to find out how school nurses find out about COVID guidelines changes and updates. In perfect working conditions, each school nurse would receive an email notification from their local health department outlining the new guidelines and what the expectations are for schools. However, we are not working in perfect conditions and I imagine many schools nurses found from the news, on Facebook, or from a friend or a community member. 


School nurses should continue to do the best they can with the resources and time they have. There are still a handful of days before schools are scheduled to return and, as we've learned, a lot of change can happen in a little amount of time. Let's hope that school specific guidelines will be shared with us :)

In the meantime, download this FREE computer wallpaper. It is a great daily reminder that schools and school nurses are being asked to FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES. Positive reviews are always appreciated too :)

I'd love to read in the comments how you and your school found out about the new guidelines and what those mean for your school.  Best of luck to all.

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Friday, December 10, 2021

The School Nurse's Christmas Card

+ this post contains affiliate links +

by the one and only Gerri Harvey RN

Gerri Harvey's retired school nurse blog (School Nurse Perspectives) was the 
inspiration for me to start the Diary Of  A School Nurse blog. 

Each December I like to remember her very popular The School Nurse's Christmas Card poem!

Can you imagine an updated COVID Christmas Card or New Year version?

If you're creative enough to write one, feel free to send it to me.
I'll turn it into something similar to below and give you all the credit :)

5x7 printable

Monday, November 1, 2021

School Nurse Blogs

Top Rated School Nurses Blogs

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Helpful School Nurse Tip:  There are many nurse related blogs around the internet, but finding one specific to school nursing can sometimes be a challenge. The School Nurse Facebook fans recently nominated their favorite SCHOOL NURSE blogs. You can find and follow all of them here...

Diary Of A School Nurse

Yes, this blog too! Written by Elisabeth MA Ed BSN RN PEL, AKA The School Nurse, this blog focuses on being a hopefully helpful resources to other school nurses. She shares tips and tricks for other school nurses who are trying to save time and streamline their school nurse practice.

The Relentless School Nurse

A well known name in school nursing, Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, writes this blog with a relentless passion for all things school nursing. She is an strong and relentless advocate for other school nurses, students, and families!  

School Nursing 101

Cyndi Brawn, BSN RN NCSN created this extensive site with the school nurse in mind.  Your free membership gives you access to a multitude of health education and disease prevention resources you can use with your students and their families.

Your Favorite School Nurse

Emme Mauer BSN RN CSN keeps this blog full of information you need to know as a school nurse. The primary target is elementary school nurses, but school nurses from all areas will be able to related to her in depth posts.

Nurse Kevin RN shares very detailed, yet easy to understand, articles on a variety of health topics familiar to school nurses.  He even offers a free newsletter- go sign up!

School Nurse Chronicles

Need a laugh and some helpful reminders?  If so, follow Kim, a National Certified School Nurse, as she shares true stories and advice. Her inspiration comes to her while she works as an elementary school nurse. 

School Nurse Perspectives

The original School Nurse blog - School Nurse Perspectives, which was the inspiration behind Diary Of A School Nurse.  Thank You Gerri!

Did your blog make the list? 


If so, post this award on your site with a link back to this page!

Are there other school nurse blogs that I missed?  If so, please share them with me and I will update this post for future reference.  Also, if you have ever dreamed about starting your very own school nurse blog, please do! Then share the link with me and I will promote it on a future list.  THANK YOU :)

Thursday, October 21, 2021

National School Bus Safety Week

Thank You School Bus Drivers

It's National School Bus Safety Week!

Remember to thank your bus drivers.

Then check out these fun school bus driver gift ideas on Amazon (commissioned link)


Wednesday, October 13, 2021

School Nurse Boo Boo Crew


Trick or Treat?

+ this post mainly contains affiliate links - have fun looking & exploring +
- there is a free school nurse BOO BOO CREW printable too -

Helpful School Nurse Tip: I prefer treats, but I'm not opposed to a few friendly tricks too. How about you? Does your school do anything special for Halloween? If so, do you participate? Here are a few simple ideas and ways you can get involved at your school.

Four Ways For The School Nurse To Get Involved This October....


Wearing school appropriate attire is probably one of the easiest ways to get involved and the students really like it too. Consider wearing a fun headband, t-shirt, leggings, and/or socks. If you are feeling daring then you can go all out with a full costume. Not sure what to do?  Here are a few school nurse options I found for you on Amazon:



In my experience, students of all ages enjoy a festive clinic. Some schools allow Halloween office decor while other schools allow seasonal office decor. Either way, here are a few options I found for you on Oriental Trading:

FREE 5x7 Printable! right click, save, share / print


Does your school provide a fun Trunk or Treat parking lot event? If so, consider decorating your car or van. There are so many Trunk or Treat DIY decorating options available and here are a few fun ones I found on Oriental Trading:


Instead of candy, consider some fun non food items. There are many alternative options available on Oriental Trading!


Friday, October 1, 2021

IEP : Health Domain

Completing an IEP Health Domain

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Hopefully Helpful School Nurse Tip: Being involved in the special education / special services process can seem overwhelming and confusing for many school nurses. Having a better understanding of the process and the role of the school nurse throughout the process will give you confidence to complete each of your areas.  Let's start with the health domain.


What is a Health Domain?

To understand what a health domain is, you must have an understanding of the special education Individualized Education Program (IEP) process.  First, an IEP is a formal document that describes a specific education plan with goals and intended outcomes for a specific student. Before the specific goals and outcomes are written or any assessment or evaluation can start, a review of the "domains" must take place. 

Special Education Domain Meeting

A  domain meeting is an official special education meeting where each member of the special education team reviews the findings specific to their domain. Depending on the findings, the school nurse or other member, may request "additional evaluations" needed. 

There are eight domain sections: 

  1. Academic Achievement
  2. Functional Performance
  3. Cognitive Function
  4. Communication Status
  5. Health
  6. Vision and Hearing
  7. Motor Ability
  8. Social/Emotional Conditions 

Typically, additional evaluations and assessments are needed to determine if an identified concern might negatively impact the student's educational learning process. Parents need to consent and team members need time to gather more information. The follow up information would then be presented at another meeting (Eligibility Determination Meeting) scheduled in the future. 


Who can Complete a Health Domain?

There are different guidelines depending on the state you live in. For example, in Illinois, a School Nurse holding a Professional Education License (PEL) should be the one to complete all Individualized Education Program (IEP) paperwork, including health domains. 

However, if school districts do not have a PEL School Nurse, they may hire a Registered Nurse who takes & successfully passes a six week RN with IEP designation course through the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to complete the IEP paperwork. Do you know the requirements in your state?


How & Why is a Health Domain completed?

Most school nurses complete health domains by performing a school health chart review.  Think of this as your information gathering phase.  During this review, school nurses are looking for any current or previous health diagnoses, medication treatments, health concerns, school health action plans, Individual Healthcare Plans, etc. School Nurses are using this time to gather a health history in order to present at the upcoming Domain Meeting. They will also determine whether or not additional information is needed by gathering more specific and detailed information in the future.

How The School Nurse Completes Health Domains

  1. Print my calendar invitation to attend the meeting
  2. Pull the school health chart for the student listed on the calendar invitation. I keep the invitation upright so I can see the date of the meeting and know that is my deadline to complete the domain paperwork by
  3. Print this Health Domain Document- I'm old school & like to complete with paper and pen, but you could easily complete this electronically and just "make a copy" for each new meeting, ditch the lines & just type the information
  4. Fill in the information listed on the Health Domain Document by completing a school health chart review
  5. Enter my findings into my school district's web based special education system
  6. Print a copy of the electronic report and file that along with my paper Health Domain Document into the student's school health chart




Teachers Pay Teachers Resources

Original IHP form-
Updated IHP form-
FREE IEP Google Tracking Sheet -

free resources

Students with Disabilities Receiving Special Services-
IDHS IEP Overview-
Six Tips for Successful IEP Meetings-
School Nurse / Special Education & Reference Books-