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School Nursing Scope and Standards

Standards in nursing practice are authoritative statements enunciated and promulgated by the nursing profession by which the quality of practice, service, or education can be judged.

The role of these standards of nursing practice is:

  • To describe the responsibilities for which nurses are accountable
  • To provide direction for professional nursing practice
  • To define the profession's accountability to the public
  • To define the client outcomes for which nurses are responsible


The first Standards of School Nursing Practice were published by the American Nursing Association in 1983. This first document was developed by the Task force on Standards of School Nursing Practice. Organizations represented on the Task Force included the American Nurses’ Association Division on Community Health Nursing Practice, the American Nurses’ Association Division on Maternal and Child Health Nursing Practice, the American Public Health Association –Public Health Nursing Section, the American School Health Association, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates and Practitioners, the National Association of School Nurses and the National Association of State School Nurse Consultants.

School Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice

The 2nd and most recent edition of School Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice was published in 2011. This National Association of School Nurses (NASN) and the American Nurses Association (ANA) guide for school nurses is based on the ANA’s Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice (2010) for all registered nurses. These standards are authoritative statements of the duties that school nurses should competently perform. Composed of two sets—the Standards of Practice and the Standards of Professional Performance—these standards delineate how outcomes for school nurse activities can be measured.

The Scope of School Nursing Practice section of the book describes the context of this specialty practice, effectively answering the essential questions: the who, what, where, when, why and how of school nursing practice.

Standards of Practice for School Nursing

Standard 1. Assessment - The school nurse collects comprehensive data pertinent to the client’s health data or the situation.
Standard 2. Diagnosis - The school nurse analyzes the assessment data to determine the diagnosis or issues.
Standard 3. Outcomes Identification- The school nurse identifies expected outcomes for a plan individualized to the client or situation.
Standard 4. Planning - The nurse develops a plan of care that prescribes strategies and alternatives to attain expected outcomes.
Standard 5. Implementation - The nurse implements the interventions identified in the plan of care.
Standard 5A. Coordination of Care – The school nurse coordinates care delivery.
Standard 5B. Health Teaching and Health Promotion – The school nurse provides health education and a safe environment.
Standard 5C. Consultation - The school nurse provides consultation to influence the identified plan, enhance the abilities of others, and effect change.
Standard 5D. Prescriptive Authority and Treatment – The advanced practice registered nurse uses prescriptive authority, procedures, referral, treatments, and therapies in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations.
Standard 6. Evaluation - The nurse evaluates the client's progress toward attainment of identified outcomes.
Standards of Professional Performance for School Nursing
Standard 7. Ethics – The school nurse integrates ethical provisions in all areas of practice.
Standard 8. Education – The school nurse attains knowledge and competency that reflects current school nursing practice.
Standard 9. Evidence Based Practice and Research – The school nurse integrates research and best-practice findings into practice.
Standard 10. Quality of Practice - The school nurse systematically enhances the quality and effectiveness of nursing practice.
Standard 11. Communication – the school nurse communicates effectively in all areas of practice.
Standard 12. Leadership – The school nurse provides leadership in the professional practice setting and the profession.
Standard 13. Collaboration – The school nurse collaborates with the client, the family, the school staff, and others in the conduct of school nursing practice.
Standard 14. Professional Practice Evaluation – the school nurse evaluates one’s own nursing practice in relation to professional practice standards, guidelines and relevant statutes, rules and regulations.
Standard 15. Resource Utilization –The school nurse considers factors related to safety, effectiveness, cost, and impact on practice in the planning and delivery of school nursing services.
Standard 16. Environmental Health- The school nurse practices in an environmentally safe and healthy manner.
Standard 17. Program Management – The school nurse manages school health services.
Please note: The Standards listed above are a much abbreviated overview.
School Nursing: Scope & Standards of Practice (2010) is available from NASN and is an essential document in guiding school nurse practice.


School Nursing: Scope & Standards of Practice (2010) National Association of School Nurses/American Nurses Association

Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice 2nd Edition (2010) American Nurses Association