Preamble: Acknowledging the diversity of the laws and conditions under which school nurses practice, NASN believes in a commonality of moral and ethical conduct.
1. Client Care
The school nurse is an advocate for students, families and members of the school community. To that end, school nurses facilitate positive responses to normal development, promote health and safety, intervene with actual and potential health problems, provide case management services, and actively collaborate with others to build student and family capacity for adaptation, self-management, self-advocacy, and learning. Each individual's inherent right to be treated with dignity and confidentiality is respected. All clients are treated equally regardless of race, gender, socio-economic status, culture, age, sexual orientation, disability or religion.
A. School nurses deliver care in a manner that promotes and preserves student, family and community client autonomy, dignity and rights.
B. School nurses support and promote individuals' and families' ability to achieve the highest quality of life as understood by each individual and family.
C. School nurses deliver care in an inclusive, collaborative manner that embraces diversity in the school community.
D. School nurses maintain client confidentiality within the legal, regulatory and ethical parameters of health and education.
E. School nurses advocate on behalf of clients' needs.
2. Professional Competency
The school nurse maintains the highest level of competency by enhancing professional knowledge and skills, and by collaborating with peers, other health professionals and community agencies while adhering to the standards of school nursing practice.
A. The profession of nursing is obligated to provide competent nursing care. The school nurse must be aware of the need for continued professional learning and must assume personal responsibility for currency of knowledge and skills.
B. School nurses must evaluate their own nursing practice in relation to professional practice standards and relevant statutes, regulations and policies.
C. School nurses must have knowledge relevant to meet the needs of clients within the school setting. Since individual expertise varies, nurses consult with peers and other health professionals with expertise and recognized competencies in various fields of practice. When in the client's best interest, the school nurse refers clients to other health professionals and community health agencies.
D. Nurses are accountable for judgments made and actions taken in the course of nursing practice. The scope and standards of school nursing practice reflect a practice rounded in ethical commitment. The school nurse is responsible for establishing and maintaining a practice based on these standards.
3. Professional Responsibilities
The school nurse participates in the profession's efforts to advance the scope and standards of practice, expand the body of knowledge through nursing research and improve school nursing practice work environments.
A. The school nurse is obligated to demonstrate adherence to the profession's standards by monitoring these standards in daily practice, participating in the profession's efforts to improve school health services and promoting student health and academic success.
B. The school nurse utilizes available research in developing the health programs and individual plans of care and interventions.
C. The school nurse participates in and promotes research activities as a means of advancing school health services and the health of students. This is done as appropriate to the nurse's education, position and practice environment and in adherence to the ethics that govern research, specifically:
1) Right to privacy and confidentiality,
2) Voluntary and informed consent and
3) Awareness of and participation in the mechanisms available to ensure the rights of human subjects, particularly vulnerable populations (minors, disabled, etc.)
D. The school nurse recognizes that practice environments impact the quality of client care and is cognizant of the need to work with others to improve these environments.
National Association of School Nurses (2010)