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Is Substance Use Undermining Adolescent Mental Health? School Nurse Role on the School-Based Mental Health Team

Release Date: 08/31/2023
Expiration Date: 08/31/2026

Cost: Free for NASN members and non members!

Upon successful completion of this offering, 
participants will be awarded 1.0 Nursing Continuing Professional Development (NCPD) contact hours.

Instructions to Successfully Complete This NCPD Program

To receive a Certificate of Completion and be awarded NCPD contact hours for this program, follow the steps below, and complete and view the full content of the program including the program evaluation. If a post assessment is included in the content, you will need to have 75% of the answers correct in order to pass the assessment. You will also have unlimited retakes on the assessment.

Step 1: Enroll in the program through the e-commerce system. Select the Purchase button. You will be directed to the e-commerce system. The program should already be in your shopping cart (look for the shopping cart icon at the top of the e-commerce web page). Select the shopping card and choose "check out." You will receive a confirmation email with a link back to this program after your transaction

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: Retrieve the certificate.  After completing all content items, you will earn a certificate. You can save or print it.  Certificates are also stored in your Learning Center Profile.

Program Overview
While school nurses report spending approximately 30% of their time addressing student mental health concerns, state needs assessments in WA, MN, and NM report lack of knowledge, competence, and confidence in supporting students with a mental health concern and affirms the need for practice- and competency-based behavioral health continuing education opportunities. While substance use among high school students decreased nationally for some substances from 2011-2021, concern exists for some students (e.g., female, LGBQ+, students with same-sex partners) were more likely than their peers to engage in substance use behavior. For WA students, substance use is a reported concern at the state and district levels. Schools and school nurses are on the front line to provide ready access to evidence-based support and resources in the face of the staggering level of emotional, mental, and behavioral health issues among students.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the need to address adolescent substance use and mental health.
  • Identify how school nursing practice is aligned with the MTSS framework to address adolescent substance use and mental health.
  • Apply the nursing process to the three tiers of MTSS to address adolescent substance use and mental health.
  • Describe how to use evidence-based screening tools for adolescent substance use and mental health in all three tiers of MTSS.
  • Articulate the school nurse role on the school-based mental health team.

Intended Audience
This continuing education program is a practice, skills, and knowledge NCPD program developed to meet the educational needs of registered nurses who are interested in child, adolescent health, community/public health, and school nursing.


Tessa McIlraith, MS, BSN, RN
District Nurse
Burlington-Edison High School

Faculty and Nurse Planner(s) Disclosures
NASN must ensure that all educational program content is free of commercial interest, bias, influence, and that the integrity of the content is uncompromised. The intent of this disclosure is to provide learners with information on which they can make their own judgments.

The nurse planner(s), faculty, and reviewers disclose there are no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies for those involved with the ability to control the content of this program.

Accreditation Statement
The National Association of School Nurses is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development 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 program.

Commercial Support or Grant Funding
This educational activity is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part a financial assistance award funded by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of, nor an endorsement by, CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.