School Nursing Celebrated on New Date!
---Day coincides with 100th & 35th Anniversary Celebrations---
(Castle Rock, CO.) The National Association of School Nurses, Inc. (NASN) has proclaimed May 7, 2003 as National School Nurse Day. National School Nurse Day was established in 1977 and celebrated the last Wednesday in January to foster a better understanding of the role of school nurses in the educational setting. due to requests to incorporate National School Nurse
Day into National Nurse Week (which occurs May 6th-12th), the NASN Board of Directors voted to celebrate this day on the Wednesday within National Nurse Week starting in 2003.
This change was made primarily to avoid difficulty in celebrating the nursing practice twice a year - once in January and again in May. This year's celebration is exceptional, in that it coincides with two anniversaries for school nursing practice. The first is the year long 100th Anniversary Celebration of school nursing in the United States and the second is the 35th Anniversary of the National Association of School Nurses.
This year marks the 100th Anniversary Celebration of School Nursing in America. It was on October 1, 1902, that school nursing emerged, following the "experimental" placement of a public health nurse, in a New York City school. The extraordinary work of America's first school nurse, Lina Rogers Struthers, R.N., in reducing school absenteeism due to communicable diseases, quickly led to the employment of school nurses in New York City
and across the country. As more and more nurses were hired, the role of the school nurse expanded to include an emphasis on student wellness, disease prevention and health education, not only for the student, but for family members and the community at large.
In addition, this year also marks the 35th Anniversary of the National Association of School Nurses. NASN's Annual Conference, scheduled to take place June 28-July 1, 2003 in Cincinnati, Ohio, will kick off the beginning of the 35th Anniversary Celebration. It was in 1968, that NASN was formed as the "Department of School Nurses of the National Education Association" at a meeting of the National Education Association. The organization's name was then changed to the "National Association of School Nurses, Inc." in September, 1978.
School nurses have played a vital role in improving the health and well being of our nation's children. According to a survey done in March 2000 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are 57,954 RNs employed as school nurses. These nurses are charged with caring for our nation's 52 million students. What was once considered an "experiment," has
proven to be a hallmark of the American Public School System.
"The 100th anniversary of school nursing and the 35th anniversary of NASN are truly important milestones in the history of American public health" said NASN President Linda Wolfe. She further added, "Each day, children all across America come to school to learn, but can only do so if healthy." To see how the role of the school nurse has evolved please speak with a local
For more information on National School Nurse Day and to learn how schools across the nation are celebrating this milestone, visit the NASN website at www.nasn.org.