Nurses are essential to promoting health in the community. Erin Bradley, MSN, RN, who oversees a large school district, explains her role as a certified school nurse and the importance on partnerships to optimize student health and success.
I am a licensed and nationally certified School Nurse currently serving as Clinical Coordinator for a large public-school district in Northeast Ohio. In this role, I supervise ten school clinics and the healthcare staff who operate them. I am responsible for ensuring that the healthcare needs of each student are met and strive to optimize student learning and academic success by promoting a safe and healthy school environment.
Providing comprehensive care to students requires optimum partnerships between students’ families, providers, educators, and clinical staff. Care coordination between these members of the school health team is implemented to foster student-centered care. Using the Whole Student, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) Model from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, care coordination is focused on students’ overall health and wellness in the school and community environment. Student well-being is not isolated to the home but moves beyond those borders into the school and community ecosystems. Clinical Coordinators provide a bridge between healthcare and the school system, becoming advocates for student success by guaranteeing physician orders are implemented as well as educating school and clinical staff on those orders and students’ health status. Furthermore, Clinical Coordinators update physicians on students’ health outcomes. This fluid evolution of student care responds to the greatest needs of the whole child, priming students for a prosperous future.