Thursday, June 30, 2022

School Nurse Office Decor

 How Do School Nurses Decorate Their Offices?

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Hopefully Helpful School Nurse Tip: People spend a countless number of hours at work. If having a nicely decorated space makes you feel better and work more efficiently, then do it! You'll have zero regrets. Check out these school nurse office pictures for inspiration for your own office space!


I learn so much by seeing what other school nurses are doing- and that includes how they organize and decorate their office spaces too! How many of you would love to take a tour of a few school nurse offices spaces? I know I would. Since that isn't in our yearly budget then how about a virtual school nurse office tour! I'd LOVE to share your space too- I've seen some amazing sneak peaks on Ig and have reached out to a few of you too. Please feel free to send me your office pictures or even just a few pictures of the favorite areas of your office. 

Ready to get started?

I've got a few blog posts ready for you to check out and hopefully more on a the way. I'd love to see your office or even the favorite corner in your office, write a blog post, and add a link to your post below! If you're interested then please send your pictures to



Tuesday, June 21, 2022

What should a new school nurse think about before the job starts?



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Hopefully Helpful School Nurse Tip: Most new school nurses are extremely excited but also a little nervous about starting the job. Here are ten things any new school nurse should think.

Have you ever heard the phrase "you don't know what you don't know"? It sums up the beginning of many new adventures; even a new career as a school nurse!  As a new school nurse you want to be as prepared as possible, but you might not know where to begin. You might not even know what questions to ask yourself in order to be prepared. You might not know where to even start in your planning process. Don't worry- as a school nurse with over 25 years experience, I compiled a list of 10 things any new school nurse should think about before their first day on the new job. 

These are the ten hottest topics that many new school nurses ask about and want to learn more about.  This list will serve as a great starting point for you and hopefully this FREE top ten guide helps you be more prepared for your new career as a school nurse. 


Jump to the FREE document HERE

Take a look at more details for each topic BELOW

The School Nurse and Student Health Screenings

What health screenings need to be completed for my students? 

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Hopefully Helpful School Nurse Tip: Mandatory health screenings are different then state required health forms needed for students to attend schools. Both screenings and requirements vary from state to state. Both are extremely important and schools nurses should be aware of the requirements for their students.

Health Screenings at School

Did you know that over 98% of US children attend school (National Center for Education Statistics, 2019) and 40% of those children have been diagnosed with a chronic health condition (CDC, 2019).  However, there might be more students attending school with an undiagnosed health condition and if a school nurse is on campus they are the perfect professional resource to provide initial health screenings and referrals for physician follow up care. Examples of health screenings that a school nurse or other trained professional can provide within the school setting include but might not be limited to:
  1. Vision Screenings
  2. Hearing Screenings
  3. Scoliosis Screenings
  4. Dental Screenings
  5. Mental Health & Behavioral Screenings
  6. Hunger Screenings
  7. Lead Exposure Screenings
Are unsure of the mandatory health screenings in your state?  If so, look at the Department of Public Health site for your state, then search for something general such as "school health requirements"; these search results will hopefully lead you in the right direction.

Illinois Student Health Screening Requirements

  1. Vision Screenings
    "Vision screening must be provided annually for preschool children 3 years of age or older in any public or private educational program or licensed child care facility, and for school age children in kindergarten, second and eighth grades; are in special education class; have been referred by a teacher; or are transfer students." IDPH, 06/21/2022
  2. Hearing Screenings 
"Hearing screening must be provided annually for preschool children 3 years of age or older in any public or private educational program or licensed child care facility, and for all school age children grades kindergarten, first, second and third; are in special education class; have been referred by a teacher; or are transfer students.  These screening services shall be provided in all public, private, and parochial schools." IDPH, 06/21/2022
Google Vision & Hearing Forms Available HERE


Student Health Screenings

Facebook Conversations for School Nurses by School Nurses


School Nurse Office Visits

 Student Office Visits to the Nurse's Office

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Hopefully Helpful School Nurse Tip: If you know me, you know I'll say I don't like a lot of change. However, if you work with me then you know I'm always changing things! Don't be afraid of change; be willing to try new things- something might work better!

I don't like change yet I'm always changing.

How Do Students Visit The Nurse's Office

The majority of a school nurse's day will revolve around taking care of the health needs of students. How will those students arrive at your office for their office visit?  Over the years my office has implemented a variety of "ways" students are allowed to visit.  These include:
  1. Arrive with a pass from the teacher (sample passes here)
  2. Walk in 
  3. Teacher phones or emails and asks if there is time and space for the student to come down
  4. Student makes an appointment
Yes, most recently we've asked that students make an appointment.  Many schools use a program/app called CALENDLY. My office started uses this program during the 2021-2022 school year. We chose this program because the school counselor's offices were already using it and so our students/staff were familiar with it. 

Here are a few key Calendly points (IMO):
  • FREE option provides us enough flexibility 
  • User friendly
  • Links to a Google calendar
  • The nurse can adjust appointment times (we allow 5 minute), how much time between appointment, and how far in advance an appointment can be made (we allow 5 days)
  • Students tell us why they need the appointment so we can prepare ahead of time- there are two questions with drop down answers and one short answer questions for students to answer
  • We've been able to take care of some needs via email which keeps the student in class & avoids exposure to germs in our office
  • We still allow walk-in appointments- and we still get a lot of walk-ins, but we try to see those who made an appointment first 
  • The nurse can block out appointment times for lunch break and meetings or days off etc.
  • You can create reports (if students make an appointment) which is great for end of the year reporting
  • There are probably many more uses that we're not aware of too!
In addition to Calendly and paper charting! We also use Skyward to chart medication visits and beginning in the 2022 - 2023 we will begin charting Office Visits in Skyward and ditch our Google form (another change!) but we are excited to have more accurate numbers for our end of the year report!

When Do Students Need To Visit The Nurse's Office

Communicate with your staff member the different levels of care your office provides, give examples and let them know what is needed for a student within each category to be sent to your office (teacher pass, escort, emergency button, phone call, email, appointment, etc.).  

The blurry picture below is an example of a one page PDF I send out to my staff at the beginning of each year or as needed. You can see I list the different levels of care (you can't see my descriptions of each level). I also include a link for students to make an appointment. Create something for your staff to refer to throughout the school year. Change it as needed to meet the needs of your office, your students, and your staff members.

School Nurse Suggestions by School Nurses for School Nurses