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Course: A School Nurse-Led Initiative to Address Chronic Absenteeism

Release Date: 10/26/2020
Reviewed: 10/26/2023
Expiration Date: 10/26/2024
Originally presented at Virtual NASN2020 on June 30, 2020.

Cost: $20.00/Free for NASN members!

Upon successful completion of this offering,
participants will receive 1.0 CNE contact hours.

Program Overview

Chronic absenteeism (having missed more than 10% of a school year, or more than 3 days per month) has been elevated in importance since thirty‐six states have identified it as part of their state Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans. This provides a window of opportunity for school nurses to illustrate their value in schools. Stories from across the country indicate that school nurses decrease absenteeism and address chronic absenteeism (NASN, 2015). Students with special health needs, including chronic conditions, are at higher risk for being chronically absent (Humm Patnode, Gibbons & Edmunds, 2018). The National Association of School Nurses received a CDC contract to develop a tool/process to assist school nurses in addressing students who are chronically absent for health reasons, as well as to help identify students with chronic, undiagnosed condition. The evidence‐based tool/process was developed, based best practices related to chronic absenteeism and management of chronic conditions in the school setting; and was reviewed by experts in the field. The tool/process fits as part of a school effort; Attendance Works was consulted on the project. School nurses in four states have piloted the tool/process. This presentation will share the tool/process, along with experiences and tips from the nurses in the pilot sites on how school nurses could incorporate this program into their own schools. The presentation will also share how the experience and data helped elevate the value of the school nurse in the school and allowed them to advocate more for students.

Learning Outcomes
As a result of participating in this educational activity, learners will be able to:
  • Articulate 2 reasons for students to be chronically absent.
  • Identify 3 roles a school nurse can play in addressing chronic absenteeism.
  • Identify 1 technique they will use in their school the coming year to address chronic absenteeism.

Intended Audience

This continuing education program is a knowledge-based activity developed to meet the educational needs of registered nurses who are interested in child and adolescent health.

Erin D. Maughan, PhD, MS, RN, PHNA-BC, FNASN, FAAN
Director of Research
National Association of School Nurses

Julia Lechtenberg, MSN, RN, NCSN
School Nurse
NASN Board Director from Michigan
Warren Consolidated Schools

Luanne Nemes, MSN, NP, RN
School Nurse
Plymouth Public Schools

Claudia Streuper, MSN, RN
School Nurse Supervisor
Weber School District

Faculty and Program Planner Disclosures
NASN must ensure that all educational session content is free of commercial bias and influence. The intent of this disclosure is to provide learners with information on which they can make their own judgments.

The nurse planner, faculty and reviewers disclose the absence of personal financial relationships with commercial interests relevant to this educational activity within the past 12 months.

Accreditation Statement
National Association of School Nurses is accredited with distinction as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Accredited status does not imply endorsement by NASN or ANCC of any commercial products discussed in this learning activity.

Commercial Support or Grant Funding
This program did not receive commercial support or grant funding.

Instructions to Complete This CNE Activity
To receive a Certificate of Completion for this course, follow the steps below, and complete and view the full content of the program including the course evaluation.

NASN will conduct an outcome assessment of a sample of participants at a later date. Please be advised that, if you complete this course, you may be asked to participate in this outcome assessment.

Step 1: Enroll in the course through the e-commerce system. Select the Purchase button. You will be directed to the e-commerce system. The item should already be in your shopping cart (look for the shopping cart icon at the top of the e-commerce web page). The cost for this course will be waived for NASN members during the checkout process.

Step 2: Complete and view the full content of the program. Content items are indexed at the bottom of this screen. After you enroll, you will return to this screen. The first content item will be “unlocked” so that you can begin completing the course. Subsequent items will “unlock” as you complete previous items.

Step 3: Print the certificate.