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School Health and Nurse Services as a related service for students with special health care needs:

When a child is found to be eligible for special education, he or she will be eligible to receive related services in school. Related services are provided as required to enable children with disabilities to benefit from their special education program. Many children with disabilities, especially those with medically fragile conditions, could not attend school without the supportive services of school nurses and other qualified people. Over the years, the extent of the health-related services provided in schools has grown, as might be expected considering the medical advances in the last decade alone.

School health and school nurse services are defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as “…health services that are designed to enable a child with a disability to receive a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) as described in the child’s IEP.”

School nurse services are services provided by a qualified school nurse and include:

  • Health assessment, including student strengths
  • Individualized health care plan
  • Emergency plans
  • Health status monitoring
  • Specialized health procedures
  • Health teaching/counseling
  • Medication • Personnel training
  • Personnel supervision
  • Staff consultation
  • Family support/liaison
  • Physician consultation/orders
  • Parent authorization(s)
  • Release of info to/from health care provider

School Health Services may be provided by either a nurse or Unlicensed Assistive Personnel (UAP) who are trained and if necessary delegated and supervised by the nurse. School health services and school nurse services may include the following as health-related support:

  • Gastric feedings
  • Clean intermittent catheterization
  • Oral Suctioning
  • Management of a tracheostomy
  • Administering and/or dispensing medications
  • Planning for the safety of a child in school
  • Ensuring that care is given while at school and at school functions to prevent injury (e.g., changing a child’s position frequently to prevent pressure sores)
  • Chronic disease management
  • Conducting and/or promoting education and skills training for all (including the child) who serve as caregivers in the school setting


For more information on OHI, go to

School Health and School Nurse Services provided to all students:

All students attending public schools must have access to health care during the school day and for extracurricular school activities, if necessary, to enable students to participate fully in their educational programs. The federal laws include the Americans with Disabilities Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Since most school districts in Colorado (including the Thompson School District) do not have a full time nurse in each school, it is often necessary to delegate specific nursing tasks, including medication administration, to a UAP so that children with special health care needs can attend school and school sponsored activities. Any health-related procedure in school requires medical orders. Knowing when and how to delegate specific nursing tasks is essential for the school nurse. Only a professional nurse can delegate nursing care. Furthermore, nursing delegation is not appropriate for all students, all nursing tasks, or all school settings (NASN 2014). Tasks commonly performed by a parent/guardian at home take on a more complex dimension in the school setting. (Guidance on Delegation for Colorado School Nurses & Child Care Consultants)

See the Health Services Website for more information.