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Leading the Future: NASN's Advocacy for Virtual School Nurse Services via Telehealth

August 29, 2023

Miguel Del Villar, BSN, RN | Backstage Health, LLC

In an era defined by rapid technological advancements, education is no exception. The landscape of learning has transformed, paving the way for innovative solutions that streamline processes and maximize efficiency. With the integration of telehealth technology, educational institutions have the opportunity to revolutionize healthcare access for students.

It is the position of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) that utilization of telehealth technology is a valuable tool that can assist registered professional school nurses (herein referred to as a school nurse) to enhance access to school and community health services (National Association of School Nurses, 2022).

A Vision Supported by Experts: The NASN Perspective

The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) optimizes student health and learning by advancing the practice of school nursing. Their resounding endorsement of telehealth technology demonstrates that virtual school nurse services are not just a novel idea but a well-researched and carefully considered solution. The NASN Framework for 21st Century School Nursing Practice highlights models of practice and telehealth technology as part of their leadership principles (Framework, 2020). This is a call for school districts to adopt this approach, underscoring its relevance and potential impact on student welfare.

Framework for 21st Century School Nursing Practice. National Association of School Nurses. (2020, July).

Breaking Barriers: Accessibility and Convenience

Physical barriers often stand in the way of students accessing timely healthcare. From geographical distance to transportation constraints, these obstacles can seriously impede a student's ability to receive immediate attention. Virtual school nurse services obliterate these barriers. Students can now access professional healthcare guidance without leaving the school premises, ensuring that minor health concerns do not evolve into major problems. The COVID-19 pandemic reinforced this crucial role, as school nurses conducted virtual care coordination to reduce healthcare barriers for students in low-income, medically underserved, or geographically challenged local communities (National Association of School Nurses, 2022). Parents can also rest assured knowing that their children's well-being is being actively monitored, even from a distance.

Enhancing Special Education: The Vital Role of Virtual Credentialed School Nurses

In the realm of inclusive education, virtual credentialed school nurses serve as essential allies, seamlessly integrating health services into the special education framework to create a comprehensive support structure for students with diverse needs. These nurses bring expertise that extends beyond physical health, significantly impacting students' educational experiences. A virtual school nurse may collaborate with community providers, administrators, and special education staff to develop individual healthcare plans and participate in eligibility determination for, delivery of, and evaluation of 504 and individualized education program plans (Marrapese, 2021). This not only ensures that student's health needs are met effectively but also enhances their overall capacity to engage with learning.

A Holistic Approach to Student Well-being

Education is not just about imparting knowledge; it's about nurturing well-rounded individuals. A student's physical and emotional health profoundly influences their ability to learn and thrive. Virtual school nurse services contribute significantly to this holistic approach to education. These services can offer mental health support, address emotional concerns, and provide a safe space for students to discuss sensitive issues. The result is a healthier, happier, and more engaged student body, ready to excel academically and beyond.

Cost-Effective and Future-Ready

Some might argue that the implementation of virtual school nurse services could be cost-prohibitive. However, this perspective overlooks the long-term benefits and potential cost savings. Investing in telehealth technology now prepares students for a digital future, where remote interactions are becoming increasingly common. By embracing this technology, schools equip students with skills that extend beyond the classroom, ensuring they are prepared for the evolving professional landscape.

In conclusion, the introduction of virtual school nurse services is not a luxury; it's a necessity. The National Association of School Nurses position unequivocally supports the integration of telehealth technology into our school districts, highlighting its potential to revolutionize student well-being. With accessibility, convenience, preventive care, and a holistic approach at its core, virtual school nurse services are an investment in our students' future. It's time for our school districts to lead the way into this transformative era of education and health care.


Marrapese, B., Gormley, J. M., & Deschene, K. (2021). Reimagining School Nursing: Lessons Learned From a Virtual School Nurse.

Framework for 21st Century School Nursing Practice. National Association of School Nurses. (2020, July).

National Association of School Nurses (2022). Telehealth: Equitable Student Access to Health Services. Combe, L. G., & Strawhacker, M. T.


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