Sunday, June 13, 2021

School Nurse Summer To-Do List

School Nurse Summer Checklist

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Hopefully Helpful School Nurse Tip: I enjoy using the summer months to relax and reflect, but I also dedicate some of this time to prepare for the upcoming school year. I'm paid to work 10 extra days in July; are you? Here are ten items on my summer to-do list.

Do school nurses get the summers off?

Every school district is different, but many school nurses don't get 'the entire summer off'—sad, but true. For example, I am paid to work ten extra days during the summer. Eight of those days are assigned, and I can schedule the other two myself.

Since last year was dominated by COVID-19, I'm a bit behind schedule. I have a few state reports to finish before diving into my top ten summer to-do list. How does this list compare to yours?

While the list might seem specific to my situation, I hope it helps you organize your summer tasks. Feel free to add or delete items to tailor it to your needs and your school. Being prepared over the summer ensures a smoother start to the new school year, making our jobs as school nurses more manageable and effective.


  1. Contact Parents- Use the summertime to contact parents for updates on medications, health concerns, and needed action plans. I use Skylert or Skyward message center,  email, and Google forms and/or hyperlinks to the Health Center portion of the school website.  How do you contact parents and Why do you contact parents prior to the new school year?
  2. Summer Clinics- Each year I try to offer an onsite option for required school physical exams, sports exams, and MCV4, HPV, and COVID vaccines too.  This is always a community collaboration with a local medical provider and our local health department (LHD) too. These clinics are not free to parents, but many take advantage of them because of they are very convenient. Does your school or district offer any onsite healthcare clinics?
  3. Emergency Bag & Meds- Check expiration dates of the emergency medications kept at your school and order new as needed.  Also, check your emergency bag/box. Replenish items as needed, switch what didn't work and keep what did! What type of emergency bag do you have?  Are all of your items in working order, do you need to add/remove anything? I also restock office medical supplies via the district Amazon account. You can see many of my must have items HERE, Then check out the changes I've made over the years to my emergency bag here: 
    1. Emergency Bag 2012 
    2. Emergency Bag 2020 
    3. Emergency Box 2021
  4. Incoming Charts- I work in a public high school setting. Upon entry, each student receives a "school health chart". I fill these charts with forms I receive from the "feeder schools"; making sure to take time to look over the information for any students with chronic health conditions and make a note for future use. Most of our immunizations are imported via a Skyward "dump". The remaining ones get manually entered prior to the beginning of the year (hopefully). How do you keep track of health forms for your individual students? The school health charts I use are created with a manila folder and a 5x8 index card- both with stickers including: 
    1. Last Name, First Name MI
    2. DOB
    3. Student ID # (read more about them here
  5. Community Collaboration- My school is lucky enough to have a volunteer Moms Who Care group! Since I am the school liaison, I meet with them at least once over the summer to discuss our plans for the upcoming school year.  I also contact the local doctor who is willing to sign orders for our emergency meds and AEDs. Previous Moms Who Care posts HERE. Can you think of a community group that can help your students meet their needs?
  6. Staff  Meetings- Thankfully my school doesn't have summer staff meetings! However, there is one meeting I am usually asked to speak at. That is the "Coaches Meeting". I give a brief asthma and allergy overview along with a quick CPR update/review. The Athletic Trainer talks more specifics too. We also have the CPR manikins and AED trainer available for hands on practice. Do you have any summer meetings or staff trainings that you need to plan for? FREE Medication Training Slides
  7. AED Monthly Checklist Updates- Many school nurse duties have to be completed at a specific time throughout the school year. However, I have found that creating a new AED monthly checklist form during the summer works best for me. This is actually a duty that doesn't have to be completed by the school nurse. If you are struggling to complete everything then maybe ask about delegating this duty to another staff member. Are you in charge of monthly AED checks; if so, how do you document this duty?
  8. Student Data Collection- It is not enough to tell people (admin/school board) how busy you are. You need to show them too.  One simple way to do this is to collect basic data on the visits to the nurse's office. I've created a very basic and FREE Google form to help you get started. You can edit this form to add information you would like to keep track of. If you want to include specific teacher names, treatment options, or common complaints for easy selection then you can edit and add those to this form. Compile the results at the end of the year and create an end-of-year report to share with your Board Of Education and school administrators. I do every year using Canva- it is simple and easy. I usually keep it to two pages to highlight a few key points from the year. How do you track and report your yearly data?

  9. Registration Day- Most schools offer some sort of registration day for students- either in person or online. Either way, there are always papers and plans that need to be reviewed, shared and filed. For in person registration, I prefer to have a print out of the state health requirements to reference and to share with parents if needed. I also have access to a computer and bring plastic bankers boxes to organize charts- those I need to review, those that can be filed, and those needing follow up of some sort. Is your registration online or in-person?  How and what do you need to prepare?
  10. Emails / Voicemails- Each summer I enable an automatic "out of office" email response. I still glance at my emails at least daily, but I do not respond to them unless emergent. Also, my office does not have voicemail- you read that correct- there is no voicemail option. I am certain I will have over two hundred emails- some junk, some informational, and some that I will need to respond to or follow up in some way. Do you answer work emails over the summer months?
  11. ELEVEN- everything else- ha ha :)

I hope this helps you feel more prepared... What did I miss?  What else are you curious about?  Let me know and I will try to help.