School Health

School Nurses

To speak with a school nurse, please call your child's school for contact information.

What Does a School Nurse Do?

Your child spends more time at school than anywhere else except home. Schools can have a major effect on children's health, by teaching about health and promoting healthy behaviors. The school building and environment should be a safe and healthy place for your child.

Schools work to prevent risky behaviors such as alcohol and tobacco use, inactivity, or bullying. They may also deal with specific health problems in students, such as asthma, obesity, and infectious diseases.

Buncombe County Schools, in conjunction with the Department of Health, have employed school nurses for each district. These nurses are allotted a proportionate amount of time in each school to identify health needs of individual students and populations of students, to plan with school personnel to meet these needs and to assess the extent to which needs are met.

The school nurses help to facilitate prevention, detection and effective management of student health problems. Their assistance also helps promote and advance successful student learning. Traditional roles of the school nurse included following up on vision, hearing, and dental screenings; monitoring communicable diseases and dealing with injuries and illnesses that occur daily at school. Now more students are coming to school with serious chronic health conditions, behavioral disturbances, life threatening allergies, abuse/neglect, nutritional problems, unintended pregnancies, STDs, HIV, and substance abuse. School nurses prioritize coordinating the care of these students with serious health needs.

Delivery of Health Services

  • Participates in the periodic health assessment of students.

  • Participates in identification of children with special needs.

  • Develops and implements nursing care plans.

  • Initiates referrals and follows-up on children with specific or suspected health problems, through services such as home visits, parent-nurse conferences, etc.

  • Collaborates with other student services’ team members (social worker, attendance counselor, psychologist, guidance counselor) to prevent health problems from becoming reasons for educational or social failures.

  • Supervises prescribed treatments and administration of medicines to students.

  • Assist with Medical Technology for students entering school needing invasive procedures (such as tube feedings, catheterizations, insulin injections, nebulizers, etc.) during the school day.

  • Serves as the liaison among family, health care providers, and school staff.

  • Develops a care plan in collaboration with the family, student, school staff and physician.

  • Assures understanding of chronic health conditions and how to handle issues related to the health condition. Buncombe County Schools had over 1,000 students with chronic health conditions last school year.

  • Assist with the development of the health component of the IEP.

  • Participates in 504 meetings to provide health information and assist with developing an accommodation plan.

Manager of Health Care

  • Coordinates and participates in establishing, reviewing, and implementing school health policies and procedures in cooperation with school personnel and community resources.

  • Serves as liaison between the school and the local service agencies (public health, social services, mental health).

  • Assesses, plans, and evaluates the nursing services component of the school health program and effects needed changes.

  • Assures that policies and procedures adhere to legal and regulatory statute and ethical standards of nursing practice.

  • Coordinates the necessary services for the chronically ill students in each school and serves as a resource of teachers with students with chronic illness (i.e. diabetes, asthma, life threatening allergy, seizure disorder, anemia, etc. )

  • Coordinates school health services including health screening and immunization review for each school served and prepares reports as needed and required.

  • Coordinates with the Director of Programs for Exceptional Children for health services (i.e. medical/nursing) in the schools for children with special health care needs.

  • Provides assistance to principals and teachers in the maintenance of up-to-date health records and their proper use.

  • Serves as leader in the schools for communicable disease control to limit or eliminate the threat of any communicable disease-affecting students and staff.

  • Participates in development and implementation of the school’s emergency care plan.

  • Ensures confidentiality of the health records in the school

Significant Student Health Concerns

School nurses monitor students with serious health concerns. This is to assure the necessary health care services are secured. School nurse prioritizes services based on the severity of the illness or condition. High priorities include students who are involved in a DSS neglect case, students whose health may be seriously impaired if left untreated, students who may have a contagious illness or students whose academic success is being impacted by their illness.

Examples of teacher training by the nurse include: Diabetic Care Managers at each school are trained to provide or oversee the care of any diabetic students; staff are taught to recognize allergic reactions and to give Epi-pen shots when prescribed; seizure management; and other safety or illness specific training.

Medication Administration Consultation

The school nurse offers medication administration training to school personnel annually. It is recommended that each school designate two school staff to administer medications with possibly two additional staff trained to act as their back up. The nurse reviews the medication records for each school and gives recommendations to improve safety and accountability.

Immunizations and Health Assessment Required by Law for School Enrollment.

Immunizations must be submitted to the school within 30 calendar days of enrollment.  Please click here for more information regarding requirements.

Health Assessment - North Carolina recently passed House Bill 13, Session Law 2015-222. This law now requires a Health Assessment form for every student new to North Carolina Schools. House Bill 13, Session Law 2015-222 passed in August, 2015, changes the Kindergarten Health Assessment Transmittal Form to a Health Assessment Transmittal Form. Effective for school year 2016-2017, all children entering North Carolina public schools (includes Charter Schools) must present a Health Assessment Transmittal Form within 30 calendar days of the child’s first day of attendance. The only form acceptable is the Health Assessment Transmittal Form created by the Division of Public Health and the Department of Public Instruction pursuant to House Bill 13. This law applies to children of any age entering N.C. public schools for the first time. 

Please refer to the School Health Site - MAHEC for more information.

Preventive Health Care Information

Student Wellness

BCS is committed to providing a school environment that promotes student wellness, proper nutrition, nutrition education and regular physical activity as part of the total learning experience.

Please review District Policy 6140 and 6140R for further information. District Policies