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Blog: Why are school nurses such valuable resources?

Published: December 19, 2023

Distributing Band-Aids, taking temperatures, and dealing with in-school illnesses. But also monitoring students’ chronic health conditions, advising families on insurance access, and educating parents on available health services at their child’s school.

School nurses provide vital care — both immediate and ongoing — to the students and their families, who want their children to be healthy, happy, and safe.

School nurses are trusted sources of health information for families. For many students, school nurses are one of the most – if not the only – constant resources and health advocates in their lives. This special connection fosters trust between school nurses and families. These nurses serve as reliable sounding boards for parents on a number of health concerns — including vaccination and the HPV vaccine, which protects against six types of cancer.

While districts often task their nurses with ensuring that students are up to date with the vaccines required to attend school, these dedicated health professionals also have the unique opportunity to empower parents to get all the recommended vaccines for their child. Nurses can begin having conversations about the HPV vaccine with families, answering any questions and encouraging parents to have their children vaccinated early, well before their children encounter the virus.

All for Them recognizes the how crucial school nurses are in protecting students’ health both now and in the future. We value our partnerships with school nurses in the districts that host our free, school-based vaccination clinics. These nurses are critical in helping to coordinate the clinics, which offer all recommended childhood and adolescent vaccines, and encouraging students and their parents to take advantage of the opportunity to get free immunizations on campus. They are also an important part of our three-pronged strategy to reduce HPV-related cancers in Texas.

In addition to implementing mobile vaccination clinics and educating parents through a comprehensive social marketing campaign, All for Them supports school nurses’ advocacy for the HPV vaccine through provision of a Continuing Nursing Education Course. This free course, called School Nurse Champions for HPV Vaccination, is self-paced and specially developed for Texas school nurses. Throughout the 1.5-hour course, nurses can expect to learn about a number of topics, including:

  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • HPV vaccine and why it is important
  • School nurses as HPV champions
  • Effective strategies for communicating with parents
  • Entry of HPV and other recommended vaccines into district records
  • Influenza virus and the state of flu in Texas
  • Insights from HPV-related cancer survivors and Texas school nurses

After completing the course, nurses can expect to be able to describe the prevalence of HPV infection and HPV-related cancers in the United States, explain evidence-based approaches to increasing HPV vaccine rates, describe their role in increasing HPV vaccine rates among school-age youth, express confidence in being able to talk with parents effectively about HPV vaccination, and much more.

This free nursing course is available to ALL Texas school nurses! If you are a school nurse or know someone who would be interested in taking this course, you can register here.

If you would like an All for Them team member to speak at a school nurse event in your district, please email Efrat.K.Gabay@uth.tmc.edu.

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