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The School Nurse Certification program is a 14-credit, post-baccalaureate program that prepares students for initial Pennsylvania Department of Education certification as an Educational Specialist I – School Nurse. This program prepares registered nurses to meet the health needs of children and adolescents in schools, pre-K to Grade 12.

The strategic directions of West Chester University are aligned with service to the community. This program supports the need of Registered Nurses to receive specialized education directly related to the care of the school aged child and school community. This program offers the resource of training school nurses during a time in our country where training of staff in schools has never been so important. Additionally, this program provides a service to our community by offering a local, cost effective, education in keeping our schools a healthy and safe place for members of the community, thus enhancing the relationship our community has with the university.

School nursing is a specialised practice of professional nursing that advances the well being, academic success and life-long achievement and health of students. School nurses must facilitate positive student responses to normal development; promote health and safety including a healthy environment; intervene with actual and potential health problems; provide case management services; and actively collaborate with others to build student and family capacity for adaptation, self-management, self-advocacy, and learning (NASN, 2010). With this understanding, speciality training is required to provide the school nurse with the necessary ability to be successful in this area of nursing.

The goal of the department is to prepare nurses for safe and effective care in the school setting. Graduates will be professionals capable of functioning in a holistic manner and able to collaborate with the various disciplines within the school system for health promotion and disease prevention of the child and adolescent.

Curriculum

NSG 502 (School Nurse Practicum)

This course examines the structure of the educational organization issues that specifically affect the certified school nurse and impact the student in the learning environment. Emphasis will be placed on the school nurse’s responsibility to enhance the student’s ability to learn in relation to promotion, restoration, and maintenance of health. There is a 112 hour practicum associated with this course where you must be under the guidance of a Certified School Nurse in the state of Pennsylvania. Successful completion of NSG 533 is a prerequisite for this course and it is recommended to be the culminating course of the program.

NSG 512 (Legal Mandates of School Nursing)

This course examines the structure of the educational organization and legal issues that specifically affect the certified school nurse and impact the student in the learning environment. Emphasis will be placed on the school nurse's responsibility to enhance the student's ability to learn in relation to promotion, restoration and maintenance of health.

NSG 533 (Health Assessment)

In this course, students will build on their physical assessment knowledge with a combination of comprehensive theoretical and clinical experiences in advanced physical assessment. Students will focus on attainment of enhanced skills to complete a holistic health assessment and physical examination of the adult, adolescent, and pediatric client. Strategies include collection of relevant data via appropriate interviewing methods, and developmental and physical assessment techniques with an emphasis on refinement of communication techniques and psychomotor skills (60 hours of Clinical Practice of Physical Assessment Skills).

EDA 542 (Foundations of Special Education).

This course is designed to acquaint the prospective teacher with the historical legal evolution of the field, special education processes, and the characteristics of individuals with disabilities. Distance education offering may be available. Typically, this course is offered in Fall, Spring & Summer

Visit the School Nurse Certification page on the West Chester University website for more details!

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