Virtual NASN2020 Online Community

I Am Still Your School Nurse

By Wendy DeGraffenried, NCSN, RN, BSN posted 08-13-2020 14:43


In the Ignite presentation at this year’s NASN Virtual Conference (link to presentation here), I shared how to serve the needs of school communities during the Coronavirus pandemic through distance delivery nursing strategies.  While innovation defines this strategy, it maintains synchronicity with many of the elements of NASN’s Framework. This includes platform ideas, student assessment surveys, strengthening relationships and connecting to students, and how to maintain online engagement. You too can build your own online platform in these uncertain times to maintain connection, serve your population, and continue building relationships. 

Determining technology accessibility is the first step to understanding the needs of the community. Here is a sample of our initial survey. This feedback helped schools to assist in social and emotional determinants. Second, school nurses quickly reinvented themselves with varied roles that served their respective school needs.

Our district uses Google, which determined the platform I used in creating My School Nurse Google Classroom.  I also led other school nurses to do the same across the country through Zoom. You can find a recording of these sessions here, Build Your Own Online Platforms, and the toolkit that comes with that here. What platform does your school use? Once that is determined, you can start building your own classroom. Other platforms may include Edmodo, Canvas, Schoology, or Apple Teacher. National Education Association has a compilation of resources here. 

Think of what you want your students to learn and how you will engage them. These can be varied and cater to your community’s needs. In my video, I show you the assortment of ways you can engage students (start at minute 38:25). 

You can be prepared and begin to learn ways to be prepared in all situations as we look to return to school this fall. Thank you for tuning into the live broadcast of our Ignite session. Here are a few questions  you had and I’d like to answer them now:

  1. What app did you use to help parents set up virtual visits? I used Google Forms to request a Zoom visit. I would also suggest adding this request form on your main school webpage, if you have one. Here is my form you can copy and use as you wish, or modify it to your specific needs.  
  2. How did you send health surveys? Email or FB or district platform? We used Blackboard to send whole school surveys made with Google Forms, then I also used Google Classroom to post surveys as assignments. For the initial family survey, homeroom teachers called each of their students' families and filled out the survey so we ensured that we had all students’ needs.
  3. What are some reliable technological resources that we can use to create a platform to communicate with the students, parents, and staff? If an App is used, is there a cost? While I am familiar with only a handful of Learning Management Systems, there are numerous available. Here is a link that teaches you the difference between Learning Management Systems and eLearning Software. Google Suites is free with considerable YouTube tutorial video support from both Google and educators across the country. 
  4. I heard you say that there is a way to text students via google.  Are there FERPA concerns when sharing information using this platform? Google Hangouts is the texting app I used. It comes with Google Suites and only students within the school district can access this service. It maintains confidentiality, students use their institutional sign in to get access, and was within FERPA guidelines. You can find more information on this important question here. 

I am ready for this upcoming school year with my Google Classroom! It’s easy, fun, and needed in these uncertain times for our students across the country to know that even in a time of a global pandemic, they still have a school nurse. Add it to your to do list to create your own online platform, so that if you’re opening for in-person or at-home learning, you are ready to be there for them.