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Helping Students with Diabetes Succeed

By Susan Hoffmann, MSN, RN, NCSN posted 11-02-2016 08:59


Special thanks to these individuals for their input on this post.
Nancy Jones, BSN, RN, CDE, Clinical Care Coordinator, Certified Diabetes Educator, Albany Medical Center, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology
Nichole Bobo, MSN, RN, Director of Nursing Education, National Association of School Nurses

Diabetes affects about 208,000 school-age children in the United StatesManaging diabetes is a 24/7 effort, including the hours spent at school. It requires collaboration between the student and family, the student’s personal diabetes health care team, and the school. The school nurse is the most appropriate person in the school to lead care coordination for students with diabetes.  Care coordination is a key principle of the NASN Framework for 21st Century School Nursing PracticeTM (Framework) and involves advocating for evidence-based, student-centered school policies, and school health services.

Keeping abreast of the best evidence can be challenging. However, the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) has made it easy to locate the best evidence for coordinating the care for students with diabetes. Helping the Student with Diabetes Succeed: A Guide for School Personnel (School Guide) is a comprehensive online resource that provides evidence-based guidance for diabetes management in schools. Evidence-based practice is the hallmark of professional school nursing practice, and integral to the standards of practice, another key principle in the Framework. NASN is honored to be among the supporting organizations and was a member of the writing and review team of this newly released 2016 NDEP School Guide.

The School Guide is divided into six sections.

  1. Overview of diabetes; includes equipment, supplies, and smartphone technology for blood glucose monitoring and administering insulin.  Also includes meal planning and carbohydrate counting, managing children with type 2 diabetes, and psycho-social issues.
  2. Role and responsibility action pages for school personnel.
  3. Sample tools; includes healthcare provider medical orders, individualized healthcare plan, and emergency care plans.
  4. Overview of the federal laws that address schools’ responsibilities for students with diabetes; prepared by the U.S. Department of Education.
  5. Terminology.
  6. Resources and bibliography.

Students with diabetes equipped with ever-evolving supporting technology will show up in your schools. Are you ready?

How can the School Guide help?

  • Share and discuss it with school administrators emphasizing the full extent of the collaborative approach needed to help students with diabetes be healthy, safe, and ready to learn.
  • Use the content to tailor education for students, families, and school personnel.
  • Distribute the action sheets to school personnel.
  • Use the sample forms to obtain healthcare provider orders, and develop student health, and education plans.
  • Distribute emergency care plans to all school personnel responsible for a student with diabetes.
  • Download a PDF version and share with school nurse colleagues.

NASN resources also support evidence-based practice.  Resources include:

Use the School Guide and NASN resources to build evidence-based, student-centered policies and practices in schools for providing care coordination to students with diabetes that will result in Better Health. Better Learning.TM