H.A.N.D.S. Helping Administer to the Needs of the Student with Diabetes in School

What is H.A.N.D.S.SM?

H.A.N.D.S.SM is a school nurse diabetes management education program developed by the NASN. It is organized into ten sections and presented by a school nurse (RN) and an RN certified diabetes educator (CDE) team contributing clinical expertise and practical knowledge.

The goal of the program is to provide the school nurse with knowledge, skills and resources to coordinate safe and effective diabetes management at school.

Below is information about the in-person or live H.A.N.D.S.SM program.  [NOTE: H.A.N.D.S.SM also has an online, self-paced version.]

Why do school nurses need H.A.N.D.S.SM?

Effective diabetes management at school requires an individualized plan of care developed by a school nurse for each student. The school nurse coordinates the collection of information from a variety of sources to develop this plan, and then provides the continued oversight to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of this plan of care in the school setting. 

H.A.N.D.S.SM equips the school nurse with current diabetes knowledge, and provides tools and resources to facilitate effective diabetes management for students at school,

Resource: Breneman,C., Heidari, K., Butler, S., Porter, R., & Wang, X. (2015). Evaluation of the effectiveness of the H.A.N.D.S.SM program – A school nurse diabetes management education program. The Journal of School Nursing. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1059840514568895

What are the program objectives of H.A.N.D.S.SM?

  1. Summarize current knowledge and guidelines related to diabetes and diabetes management at school.  
  2. Identify the school nurse's role in developing and maintaining a student’s individualized healthcare plan for safe and effective diabetes management at school.
  3. Describe the management of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia at school.  
  4. Apply knowledge about blood glucose and ketone monitoring to managing diabetes at school.  
  5. Describe the importance of nutrition and activity in diabetes management at school.  
  6. Describe the role of insulin therapy in effective diabetes management at school.  
  7. Identify issues unique to the school setting that can impact safe and effective diabetes management.  
  8. Identify the key school personnel who will require education about diabetes management.   
  9. Discuss regional considerations that relate to diabetes management at school.  

What materials and resources will school nurses receive when they attend H.A.N.D.S.SM ?

Participants receive a manual that includes presentation slide handouts and note pages, and diabetes forms arranged by tools for assessment, tools for planning, and tools for implementation of the IHP.

Three individualized healthcare plans are included too. These can be customized for students with diabetes who are dependent for care, self-managing, and developing coping skills.

The tools for implementation include diabetes management logs, procedures, skills/delegation checklists for blood glucose/ketone monitoring, insulin administration, and pump therapy. 

Participants should check the participant resources web page on this site to keep current with the program.

How many Continuing Nursing Education contact hours will participant receive?

6.5 Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) contact hours are awarded for attending the full program and completing an evaluation.

Where can I find a H.A.N.D.S.SM program in my area?

Check the NASN calendar of events for upcoming programs.

How do I host or have a H.A.N.D.S.SM program brought to my area?

Talk to your state school nurse association or your district school nurse supervisor about sponsoring H.A.N.D.S.SM  It is generally presented to at least 50 school nurses in a large conference room. Read more about hosting.

National Association of School Nurses is accredited with distinction as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Related Links


Jade Bland-Slaffey
Nurse Education and Practice Specialist
Send email 

Danielle Harris
Program Manager
Send email 

In this section

Promotional Flyer

General Program Updates

Participant Resources

Related Links


Diabetes in Children 

Evaluation and CNE Certificates

H.A.N.D.S.SM Online

Presenter Online Forum