School Health Program
Basic School Health Services:
These services are mandated by Florida Statute section 381.0056 to promote student health through a variety of preventive and day-to-day health services to students in the public school system. All 67 counties provide Basic school health services. The Basic school health services program is the bedrock of school health services in Florida and provides the governing framework under which all other school health service programs operate. Core services of the Basic school health services program are: nursing assessments, health counseling, referrals and follow-up for suspected or confirmed health problems; individualized health care plan development; in-school care management for chronic and acute health conditions; assistance with medication administration and health care procedures; vision, hearing, scoliosis, and growth and development screenings; first aid and emergency health services; communicable disease prevention and intervention; and emergency preparedness.
Florida's Basic School Health Program is a registered school nurse (RN) managed program that addresses day-to-day student health needs, emergency health needs and in-school management of chronic and acute health conditions like diabetes, asthma, allergies and epilepsy. In-school care management helps to ensure that student health conditions do not prevent students from attending school. Under the guidance of RNs, the county-level school health programs are implemented by county health departments, school districts and public-private partners with services provided by RNs, licensed practical nurses, health aides and trained school staff. Registered school nurses are pivotal members of Florida's educational system and help students to reach their full academic potential.
Due to increasing numbers of students with health conditions requiring health services during the school day, the School Health Program works on ensuring that standards of care and efficiencies are implemented. Over the past ten years (2002-2003 to 2011-2012), while reported student health conditions increased by 57.39% (390,992 to 615,393), the number of registered school nurses (RN) providing school health services increased by only 8.46% (993 to 1,077). To ensure the continued provision of safe school health services while addressing increased caseloads, RNs must follow safe nursing practice according to Florida's Nurse Practice Act (s. 464.001, F.S.). This includes development of individualized healthcare plans, and training, delegation and monitoring of care provided by licensed practical nurses, health aides and school staff.