As the NASN Director for NJ, I attended the Board of Director's Meeting in Indianapolis prior to the start of the the NASN Annual Conference. It consisted of important discussion and training on social determinants of health and how school nurses can mitigate negative influences; dialogue on strategic planning to meet the goals of the organization; responsibilities of board members for governance and ethics. During the meetings, the definition of "school nursing" was revised and three position documents were approved (1) Concussions - The Role of the School Nurse (2) Education, Licensure and Certification of School Nurses and (3) The Role of the 21 Century School Nurse.
NASN President, Beth Mattey spoke about NASN’s strategic partnership CDC on chronic disease management. There was a lot of discussion about the Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA) that names school nurses as the specialized instructions support specialists (SISP) in chronic disease management of students.
The conference theme of Learning, Linking and Leading opened with lessons about trust and teamwork from Michael Hingson who led his team down 78 floors of the World Trade Center to safety after the first bomb hit the World Trade Center with his guide dog. Did I mention that he was blind? The general sessions were packed with information about how to use the Framework for the 21st Century School Nursing Practice; Step Up and Be Counted Data and how states are using it; Leadership and our Professional Responsibility to be engaged with professional organization; CDC school health updates on current and soon to be released tool kits and Building Resilience for Teens. These were the tip of the iceberg as there were breakout sessions, poster presentations and vendor exhibits and product demonstrations and a business meeting.School Health hosted an 80’s party and as part of the healthy school nurse initiative and the endowment fundraiser a 5K race was held with over 200 runners participating.
Lillian Farrell was recognized as the NJ Excellence in School Nurse recipient; Sheila Caldwell was recognized for her contributions as a School Nurse Net listserve monitor; Laura Jannone and Lorraine Chewey as data champions for Step Up and Be Counted; and Robin Cogan, Marilyn Clifford and Rose Bauerle for their Johnson & Johnson Fellow projects. The conference was energizing from the start to finish.
Hope to see NJ school nurses in San Diego, CA from June 29 (pre-conference) to July 3 in 2017!
Mary Blackborrow, MSN, RN, CSN
NASN Director, NJSSNA