NYSASN wants to alert our members to some very recent guidance from SED regarding the provision of nursing services in school settings.

Over the years, our members have had to answer many questions concerning the provision of professional nursing services in New York’s schools. There has also been concern as bills were introduced into our NYS legislature which – had they been passed into law – would have permitted unlicensed school personnel to be involved in insulin administration in our schools, or which would have permitted EMTs or LPNs to replace the registered professional school nurse. Complicating this issue is the fact that New York does not have a law that mandates a registered nurse in every school.

While there is no law which explicitly requires a school nurse in every school building in New York State, it is also true that every school building in New York State has a student or students with diverse chronic health conditions – many of which require the services of a professional, licensed school nurse. This is because they are services which either cannot be delegated to non-licensed personnel, or those that can be delegated – but only under the supervision of a registered, professional school nurse.

So, in reality, in New York State, there is an implicit requirement for a school nurse in every school building – because only a registered professional school nurse can provide certain professional services mandated by both the federal laws (IDEA and Section 504), and other existing NYS laws – with their enabling rules and regulations – such as Article 139, the Nurse Practice Act.

In order to assist our members, we would like to bring the following January 2019 guidance documents from SED to your attention. These memoranda were shared with school leaders throughout New York State and they provide much needed clarity on the provision of professional nursing services in New York’s schools:

Provision of Nursing Services in School Settings – Including One-to-One Nursing Services to Students with Special Needs:

Guidelines for Determining a Student with a Disability’s Need for a 1:1 Nurse:

We would also like to remind our members to become regular visitors to the New York State Center for School Health’s website. The following is a very useful resource pertaining to our professional practice in New York’s schools and ties in very well with the SED guidance above:

School Nursing Practice FAQ’s:

For more information about advocacy for school nurses in New York State, visit the Advocacy section of our website.