Advocacy Skill Building

Advocacy is the deliberate process of influencing those who make decisions.

Why school nurses should be advocates.

School nurses are healthcare professionals in an educational setting and frequently practice as the only healthcare professional in the setting.

The role of the school nurse is not always understood by teachers, administrators, parents, elected officials, and the community at large.  

Only school nurses have the insight to educate stakeholders so they know the role of the school nurse role and the difference school nurses make in the lives of children. Stakeholders need to know why school nurses are important.

School nurses serve students and families and should proactively engage their school community.

Tell your story.

Start a log to document stories describing how you interceded to help a child at school. Anecdotes connect your efforts to improved student health and academic achievement.

Put your expertise on display!

  • Create a newsletter or a web page.
  • Send health and wellness email updates to school officials, administrators and parents.
  • Offer to make a presentation on health issues at a PTA/PTO or board of education meeting.
  • Allow local leaders to see you as a valuable resource for children.
  • Write letters to the editor.

RESOURCE: The Better Health. Better Learning. e-toolkit has these tools:

  1. Profiles in school nursing (pages 54 - 62); examples of school nurses documenting their story.
  2. Advocacy tools to educate and build support; sample letters and emails, presentations, articles and fast facts.
  3. Marketing materials that are easy-to-read and visually appealing.

Better Health. Better Learning. e-toolkit

Build relationships with stakeholders.

Regularly attend PTA/PTO and board of education meetings.

Attend local community events.

Find opportunities to meet with elected officials; including school board members, city councilors, mayors, and state and federal legislators.

RESOURCE: The Better Health. Better Learning. e-toolkit has these tools: 

  1. Key messages that "drive home" important information.
  2. Tip sheets for communicating and collaborating with stakeholders.

Better Health. Better Learning. e-toolkit

More Resources

American Federation of Teachers article: Building strong children, Why every student needs a school nurse!

Five Ways a School Nurse Benefits the School

Health Conditions Per 100 U.S. Students 

Home and Community Factors That Impact Health and Learning Per 100 U.S. Students

School Nurse Website Toolkit