The title of "school nurse" is protected by Ohio law. Only registered nurses, who have completed a baccalaureate program, a school nurse certification program, and have received a license from the Ohio Department of Education may use the title of 'School Nurse'. There is colloquial usage of the term school nurse, but be advised, the title is protected by law!
The role of the licensed practical nurse in the school environment is a dependant and limited role. In schools, Licensed practice nurses typically work 1:1 with medically fragile children, may provide health screenings and first aid under the supervision of a RN, physician, nurse practioner, etc.
Advice to the LPN seeking employment within an Ohio School:
Please be mindful of your scope of practice per Ohio Board of Nursing rules and regs. Do not allow a school district to assign you to a position that is outside of your scope of practice. Read the job description carefully! You should not be asked to perform assessments without RN or school nurse oversight, create Individualized Health Care Plans
, or any other activity that would be considered in the domain of RN scope of practice.
School districts hire a variety of health professionals to provide care to students. Unfortunately, they rarely understand nursing rules and regulations. It is your duty to inform them of your abilities and limitations per Ohio nursing regs. Protect yourself and help to educate our educators about nursing practice at the same time!
If you do not not have accurate information about nursing scope of practice, please contact the Ohio Board of Nursing. If you have specific questions about School Nurse practice, please contact the Ohio School Nurse Consultant, located within the aspices of the Ohio Department of Health or please review information from the Ohio Association of School Nurses (www.oasn.org
Jenny F. RN, BSN, NCSN