Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Student Health Requirements

School Health Requirements

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Helpful School Nurse Tips: Did you know that school nurses are responsible for making sure their students have met the compliance for the health requirements required by their state?  Read on for some hopefully helpful tips...

What health forms are required for school?

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. The specific requirements are determined by individual states- check with you state department of health. Most of the required health forms are completed outside of school with a doctor licensed to practice medicine and then turned into the school nurse; but why?

History of School Health Forms

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. 

Why are health forms required for school?

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.

Staying Organized with Required School Health Forms

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 :)

Using Google Email Templates has been a HUGE time saver! Do you use them?

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. Check out this DOASN blog post on organizing school health charts HERE.

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



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