What is the role of a school nurse?

Understanding how school nurses can add value to local councils' Healthy Child Programme.


School nurses are specialist community public health nurses (SCPHN) who work with school-aged children and young people and their families to improve health and wellbeing outcomes and reduce inequalities and vulnerabilities. They are Nursing and Midwifery Council registered nurses or midwives who have undertaken additional training and qualifications to become specialist community public health nurses (SCPHN - SN). School nurses lead the Healthy Child Programme: 5-19 and are essential in ensuring every child has the best start in life.

Councils have responsibility for commissioning the Healthy Child Programme for which school nursing teams lead on delivering interventions in the 5-19 service.

This publication highlights and defines the role of a school nurse, who they are commissioned by and how they contribute to the vital health and wellbeing of children aged five to 19 years old. It explores the full range of interventions which school nurses can offer and their impact on key government priorities such as reducing child health inequalities, emotional wellbeing and mental health, encouraging healthy weight and childhood immunisations. It also includes key evidence on the impact of school nursing interventions on advancing outcomes for child health, in addition to supporting quotes from key stakeholders.

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