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The School Nurse-Led Active Surveillance Manual

Release Date: 08/31/2020
Expiration Date: 08/31/2023

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Chronic absenteeism is defined as a student having missed more than 10% of a school year, or more than 2 days per month. Students who are chronically absent are at risk for academic failure and dropout. School nurses (SNs) are on the frontlines of student health. Using nursing expertise and proximity to vulnerable students, a school nurse-led active surveillance program can proactively identify and document student health concerns and assist students and families in getting the care that they need.

The School Nurse-Led Surveillance of Chronic Absenteeism Manual guides school nurses in addressing health related absences. The manual includes a standardized, evidence-based procedure for school nurses to follow, along with reference materials to support the steps in the procedure, to address health related absences and chronic absenteeism.

Sections in the manual include

  • Why School Nurses Should Care About Chronic Absenteeism?
  • Gaining School Wide Support
  • How to Begin
  • School Nurse-Led Surveillance Process
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • References
Erin D. Maughan, PhD, MS, RN, PHNA-BC, FNASN, FAAN
Director of Research
National Association of School Nurses

See also the course A School Nurse-Led Initiative to Address Chronic Absenteeism.

How to Access the Manual

  1. View or download a PDF; or
  2. View online.
NOTE: Links to resources ONLY work in the PDF.
Manual Resources
  1. The PDF contains links to resources.  
  2. Copies of the resources are also stored in a group below for your convenience.
To aid you in implementing the active surveillance process, school nurses who were involved in piloting the program share their insights and recommendations on how to successfully implement the program.surveillance.