FEBRUARY 2016 NEWSLETTER
In This Issue
The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease is an organization created to challenge the candidates for president to think about the cost of chronic disease as
they present their plans to address the rising health care costs. Chronic disease is the number 1 driver of healthcare spending and the leading cause of death and disability. 86% of health care spending is attributed to chronic disease. Today, people receive the recommended care less than 60% of the time. If you want to be involved in this challenge,
CLICK HERE for more information.
Your Board Hard at Work on Your Behalf
Former School Nurse Says Thank You
in 1985 I became a school nurse in the Hampton School District. I received support from Muriel Derosier who was the RN working at the Department of Education. She offered a 3 day course for new school nurses that set me on a very successful career.
I worked in Hampton for 3 and 1/2 years and persuaded the local school board to hire RNs to replace health aides who were working at 2 elementary schools that I supervised. I had written an article about the process that was published in the New Hampshire school nurse newsletter and it was also published in the NASN Newsletter March 1989. I then moved to Florida and spent 26 1/2 years as a school nurse in the Tampa area schools (total of 30 years). I had opportunities in Hillsborough County Florida (250 schools) not only to provide services to students, but also to train and orient nursing staff (RNs and LPNs), act as the representative to our Florida Shots program, train nursing staff to use the SNAP computer program, provide in-service training with CEUs, train school faculty in CPR and first aid, and help develop local school health policies, procedures, forms and power points. I retired this past June 30th and wanted to say thank you and to encourage your participants in your day training for new school nurses to learn well. For me it all started in New Hampshire so many years ago. You never know where the training will take you or how many children will benefit from your care.
Sincerely, Judith Gillen, RN Retired School Nurse!!!
Welcome to NHDOE School Health Coordinator Nancy Wells, MS RN NCSN
On January 27th, Nancy Wells, MS RN NCSN was appointed to the new School Nursing Coordinator position with the New Hampshire Department of Education. Wells, a nationally certified school nurse, former clinical assistant professor at UNH and Past-President of NHSNA will be providing technical support, resources and trainings to all of New Hampshire's school nurses, as well as monitoring the legislation that impacts school health and school nursing practice.
The position is part of the Office of Student Wellness in the Bureau of Special Education. The Office of Student Wellness works in collaboration with local communities, school districts, and individuals, to support students as they become fully productive members of society.
“Being a school nurse is a challenging job,” commented Wells. “I am excited to support this essential service for our school communities.”
Nancy's contact information is
Nancy A. Wells, MS RN NCSN
School Nursing Coordinator
Office of Student Wellness
Department of Education
To Be or Not to Be Certified -- That is the Question
At one time or another in your career as a school nurse, I would be willing to wager that you have felt or been told that your specialty is “less than” when compared to other areas of nursing. I have been asked by nursing colleagues who do not work in a school “ But what do you do all day? You don’t even use any of your hard earned skills!” As any school nurse will attest, the opposite is actually true. We must have sharp assessment and triage skills as we are often singular in our positions. Even if you have more than one nurse in your office, we are autonomous in our care. Non-school nurses, and sometimes administrators, truly do not understand the conflicts that exist between healthcare and education. We are experts in finding the continued balance between these two worlds. School nursing is focused on the health and well-being of our families and the staff but primarily, we provide ongoing health management of our students to optimize time spent in the classroom.
Certification is important in any specialty. But certification in school nursing “represents a national standard of rigorous preparation, knowledge, and practice” (NBCSN, 2015). To be a nationally certified school nurse provides a “mark of distinction” among our profession and within our specialty. We have 38 certified school nurses in the state of New Hampshire; this number represents just 1% of the total school nurses in New Hampshire (NBCSN, 2015).
We do not have “Magnet Schools” in our specialty nor do we do have that overarching stamp of excellence to lend a hand to our cause. Certification is the closest comparable thing that we have at this time. Early adopters of the voluntary professional certification understand
the importance of raising the standards and expectations for future school nurses. How can we expect administration to understand the value of a full-time baccalaureate prepared, nationally certified nurse if we do not put value in it ourselves as nurses? How can we equalize contract issues and raise our pay to match our constituents in the hospital setting if we do not value ourselves?
The process for certification is simple. The exam is offered three times a year: Spring, Summer and Fall. Each date has an application deadline one month prior to the testing window opening. The spring deadline has passed but June 11, 2016 and October 8, 2016 are the next two options available. Eligibility requirements include: current licensure as a baccalaureate prepared registered nurse (must be granted from an accredited program), clinical practice minimum of 1,000 hours during the past three years, and completed and filed the application for certification examination for school nurses, including payment of the required fee of $350.00. The certification is valid for a period of five years at which time the candidate must retake and
pass the exam or meet continuing education requirements to keep the certification. Once this process is complete, you will receive an email with your Authorization To Test. This email will provide information regarding the testing schedule, date, and location for your testing window. The exam consists of a maximum of 200 multiple choice questions with a total testing time of four hours. Five areas of focused content are weighted in approximately the following manner:
a. Health Appraisal 27%
b. Health Problems and Nursing Management 28%
c. Health Promotion/Disease Prevention 20%
d. Special Health Issues 13%
e. Professional Issues 12%
Testing materials provide rigorous examples of exam questions. Multiple study resources are available from the National Board for Certification of School Nurses website at www.nbcsn.org and from the National Association of School Nurse website at www.nasn.org .
NBCSN has created a “Handbook for Candidates” that has additional information regarding the examination process.
Certification in school nursing is a personal choice that can have huge ramifications for our profession and specialty. Now is the time to aim high and create an environment of excellence for ourselves and future school nurses joining the ranks. The NHSNA’s position
(2015) is that it is time to ensure that all children are receiving the highest level of health care that will allow them to reach their full educational potential.
National Board for Certification of School Nurses, Inc. (2015). Number of NCSN’s by state. Retrieved February 2, 2016
New Hampshire School Nurses’ Association. (2015).
NH school nurse certification. Retrieved February 2, 2016
Safeguarding Our Students: April 9th
NHSNA Spring Conference and Annual Meeting
6.0 Contact Hours
Breakfast and Lunch Included
Many vendors / exhibitors
NHSNA Annual Meeting
Thanks to our Sponsor: NH Division of PHHS- Healthy Homes Lead Poisoning Prevention
Jeffrey Perrotti, MA Director of MA Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students
School Resource Officers: School Violence and Student Safety
NH Children’s Trust- 5 protective factors for building strong families
Nancy A. Wells, MS, RN, NCSN: NHDOE School Health Coordinator, Naloxone Training
April 29 through May 1, 2016
Mystic Marriott in Groton, CT.
Special room rates have been negotiated. The hotel is centrally localized to many area attractions including beautiful downtown Mystic, Mystic Aquarium, Mystic Seaport, Groton Air Force Base, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos, and outlet shopping. In addition, the Red Door Spa is located within the Hotel and attendees will receive a 20% off coupon with their conference registration!
There will be 3 keynote speakers. In addition, 4 selections for breakout sessions will be available in both the morning and afternoon sessions on Saturday plus 3 selections will be available on Sunday morning. This conference will enable you to attend education sessions that are directly applicable to your work. It will also make it possible for you to build a professional network with school health experts and colleagues from around the region!
PLYMOUTH, NH – Kerriann Reynolds RN, school nurse at Laconia Middle School was selected as the 2015 recipient of the 5th annual Kathy Anderson Scholarship.
Named for the late Kathy Anderson, wife of recently retired New Hampshire Electric Co-op President/CEO Fred Anderson, the scholarship was created to help a deserving New Hampshire woman who is seeking to better her life through education.
Reynolds, a Co-op member, a mom of three and a Holderness resident, received $2,500 to help continue her studies at Southern New Hampshire University, where she is pursuing her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. Kerriann’s college education began 19 years ago and, one course at a time, brought her to where she is today – nearing completion of her BSN, which is anticipated in 2016. An active participant in her children’s lives, Kerriann is a mentor to countless students, an active Girl, Boy and Cub Scout parent volunteer, and serves as a school nurse at Laconia Middle School. Kerriann’s ultimate goal is to obtain her Master’s degree in Nursing.
“Kerriann is a very grateful, motivated and dedicated individual who has the perfect balance of persistence and patience to break down any barrier that is put before her. Her hard work and passion for learning was not only apparent from her scholarship essay but was very clear upon meeting her in person,” said Audrey Goudie, Executive Director of the NHEC Foundation, also responsible for the Kathy Anderson Scholarship oversight.
“Kerriann represents the best of Kathy’s legacy,” said Fred Anderson. “Like Kathy, she’s a lifelong learner who is first and foremost committed to her family, then her career and her education. It seems she is always finding a way to give back to her community. It’s clear to see why she was selected by our awards committee. We wish her all the best as she works towards her nursing degree.”
The Kathy Anderson scholarship was established in 2011 and awards one $2,500 scholarship annually to a non-traditional female learner over the age of 25 who is a US citizen, resident of New Hampshire and is a member of New Hampshire Electric Co-op. The candidate must be enrolled at least part-time in an undergraduate program. Click here for more information about the Kathy Anderson Scholarship. The Kathy Anderson Scholarship is funded by individual contributions made in Kathy’s name to the NHEC Foundation, a 501c(3) charitable fund that has contributed over $2.4 million to non-profits, educational and health care programs in NHEC service territory since 2006.