Texas School Nurses Organization

July 2021

Mission Statement & Vision Statement

To enhance whole student wellness in support of health and learning by advancing school nursing practice.

Student access to health and learning. All day. Every day.

This newsletter takes NASN’s Framework for 21st Century School Nursing Practice approach.


President's Message

Summer is here!

For some school is out for summer while others are school nursing in summer school and preparing for the fall! Regardless of your connection to school right now, please be sure and take some time for you! Refresh, Rejuvenate and Regroup!

Throughout the summer months, your TSNO board continues to support school nurses! The summer legislative session is to begin July 8, 2021. Behind the scenes, TSNO continues to be at the table with DSHS, TEA, Texas Teams Future of Nursing projects and more with a goal to increase school nurse’s presence in every corner of our state to provide equitable care for all Texas children! Stay tuned for more information coming your way soon!

NASN summer conference has ended and we congratulate outgoing NASN President Laurie Combe! TSNO November 12-14, 2021 Conference Planning is in full swing! See the announcements and sneak peak of the fabulous speaker line up! Registration will begin September 1!

Above all this summer, Take ME time! Sleep – Read – Walk – Garden – Hydrate – Unplug – Slow down – Breathe – or whatever it is that allows for the Real Me to Refresh! Enjoy July!

Happy Summer!

Karen S. Schwind, BSN, RN, NCSN

TSNO President

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Save the date

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NASN School Nurse Chat Podcasts

NASN School Nurse Chat is a podcast hosted by NASN Executive Director Donna Mazyck. It highlights timely student and school health topics of interest to school nurses and other professionals focused on student health and well-being. For more information about the NASN School Nurse Chat podcast, contact Jon Lemich, jlemich@nasn.org.

HEADS UP to Schools: Online Concussion Training for School Professionals

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created an online training called “HEADS UP to Schools: Online Concussion Training for School Professionals.” The training is designed to educate school staff on how concussions may affect student learning, how to identify concussions, and how to help students return to school after a concussion.

Say What! Texas Tobacco-Free Conference

Register for the free Say What! Virtual Conference! The conference will discuss helping youth and adults find their passion for tobacco prevention and living a healthy, tobacco-free life. Participants also will learn cutting edge strategies, information, tools and techniques on youth leadership and prevention. The conference will be held July 26-28, 2021. Learn more about the Say What! Texas Tobacco-Free Virtual Conference and register.

Take Time For Your Health

What is mindfulness and how can it affect your health? The National Institutes of Health (NIH) released an article explaining the origins and practice of mindfulness and the health benefits. The article also includes links to mindfulness resources, academic articles, and ways to practice.


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NASN Director News


NASN 2021 Virtual Conference is a wrap! Thank you to those TSNO members that attended. It was great to learn that over 1,900 attendees came from across the nation, and the world to

learn and network together. Included in this number were 210 TSNO members! Attendees can still view the recordings and earn CNE until September 23rd . You still have time to grab a beverage and put your feet up and earn contact hours.

If you did not attend the conference and in need of contact hours, look no further than the NASN Learning Center. There you can find FREE courses for members and non-members. Click on Search the Library, then scroll down and Browse by Content Type (CNE Courses FREE for ALL).

During the NASN Conference the newly elected NASN Leaders were inducted. Please join me in welcoming and supporting Linda Mendonca, NASN President; Kate King, President-Elect; and Linda Neumann, Secretary/Treasurer. Their visionary thinking on issues that impact school nursing and school health, leadership, and motivation to inspire others will contribute to the advancement of NASN going forward.

Now is a time for YOU to relax, unwind and do something fun! So, make plans to work toward

overall wellness. I encourage you to spend time in self-care in supporting your mental health

and resilience. Take a dive into resources like the ANA Well-Being Initiative and Gratitude

Practice for Nurses.

Lastly, mark your calendar for the TSNO Annual State Conference, November 12-14 at the

Embassy Suites by Hilton – DFW Airport North. Stay tuned for more information.

Have a restful and safe summer!

In your service with gratitude,

Francis Luna, MSN, RN, NCSN

NASN-Texas Director

School Nurses in the News

From the NASN Weekly Digest:

NASN and school nurses have been widely represented in the news media over the past few months and we are now including a section in the Weekly Digest to highlight some of those stories twice a month. If you have a story about school nurses you'd like us to consider including, please send it to us.

Kristi Rice and Liz Pray: Now more than ever, we need school nurses (Source: The Spokesman-Review)

Georgia’s school nurses chart new territory in pandemic (Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

NASN Celebrating Champions of Children

Our very own Ronnie Howard talks about her experience as a school nurse during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Such an amazing school nurse & leader!

Eanes ISD nurses among those recognized at annual Westies Awards ceremony

The nine Eanes ISD school nurses were recently recognized by the Westlake ( suburb of Austin) Chamber of Commerce as the 2020 Citizen of the Year for their outstanding service to “ help shepherd the school district through the pandemic.” It is heartening to see such work recognized by local business leadership.

--Jan Marie Ozias, RN, PhD (Retired)

Read more about those honored here!


The connection between the Texas Administrative Code and Texas Education Code

Below is an explanation of the function, difference, and connection of these two guiding documents.

Texas Education Code is the 'law' book - it contains all the laws that govern education that are passed through the legislature. When a bill passes through the legislature, it becomes a state statute (law) as part of TEC. Almost all bills (laws) point to a state agency to write the 'rules' on how to enact the goal of the bill. And here's where TAC comes in...

Texas Administrative Code is the 'rule' book - any state agency that has rulemaking authority puts their rules in TAC. This includes all topics: insurance, health, education, transportation, finances, etc. Education is Title 19, and TEA is Part 2. So, any rule made by TEA or SBOE goes in TAC Title 19 Part II. Similarly, any DSHS rule that we have to follow is in TAC, Title 25, Part I. Most often, education-related bills leave rule-making up to TEA, but a lot of school health-related bills go to DSHS or HHSC.

Therefore, district policy (legal and local) will reference pieces of TEC and also TAC in their descriptions of the policy.


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Decline in Physical Activity in Adolescents

A new study posted in JAMA Pediatrics researched the effects of the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders on adolescents’ substance use and physical activity. “Adolescents’ Substance Use and Physical Activity Before and During the COIVD-19 Pandemic” found that adolescents substance use did not change due to the stay-at-home orders. The article did find that physical activity significantly decreased from before the stay-at-home orders.

Type 2 Diabetes Control and Prevention Grant

Family-Centered Approaches to Improving Type 2 Diabetes Control and Prevention Grant

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) and the Office of Minority Health (OMH) are seeking applicants to fund projects that test interventions to identify family-centered factors that promote self-management and prevention of Type 2 diabetes among racial and ethnic minority and disadvantaged families who have a family member(s) aged 12 and older with Type 2 diabetes. Applications are due July 13, 2021.

Oliver Foundation- Healthy Choices Grant

Oliver Foundation works to encourage children, families and community in Texas to improve the nutrition and physical activity of K-12 students. The Healthy Choices Grants will be awarded to non-profit organizations, agencies and schools. They will need to demonstrate the greatest need and likelihood of a sustainable impact on children’s nutrition and activity levels through innovative programs. Applications are due April 15, July 15, and October 15, 2021.


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Youth Vaping Prevention

Truth Initiative developed a free vaping prevention curriculum. The curriculum educates students on the dangers of e-cigarette use. It also promotes healthy alternative behavior.

COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated the COVID-19 guidelines regarding teens and children. The Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 received emergency use authorization for teens age 12 and older.

CDC Updated Travel Guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated travel guidelines for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The guidelines include recommendations on resuming domestic travel, getting tested and self-quarantining.

Looking for #COVID19 Testing, Therapeutics, or Vaccine Providers in Texas

The Texas Division of Emergency Management has maps for that!


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We are still missing a few Region Presidents, so if you are a President or know one, please reach out to Denise Kablaitis as soon as possible! Lots of great things are happening!

Need An Idea About How To Reach Your Members?

Recently Region X reached out to each of their 412 members via email. The email included a request to update relevant information including their name, credentials, school district, name of school, phone number, full/part-time status, and finally whether their members would be willing to serve on local boards of committees. All information was complied via a Google form which was attached within the email. As a reward for completing the form each nurse received a small gift along with a statement of gratitude from the TSNO Board of Region X.

Region X had great results with 284 of their members responding and 93 of those stating that they are willing to serve their local board and/or committees! Amazing job, Region X!

If you would like to share any of your ideas please email monicaporras.tsno@gmail.com.

Members Needed

Did you know that less than half of school nurses in Texas know about TSNO and all of the benefits? We challenge you to ask! You could be the one who introduces them to those precious vision vouchers for their students or to other school nurses who can support them. Tell them what being a member of TSNO means to you! Feel free to give them our TSNO infographic.

The Value of Membership

Care for Your Students and You

VSP Vision Care's Sight for Students program is open to NASN members. Through this partnership, NASN members receive gift certificates they can share with qualifying students 19 years of age or younger.

The best professional liability rates available are extended to NASN members through NASN's partnership with Lockton Affinity.

The UnaRxCard is a discount prescription drug card that can lower the cost of many prescription medications and things like diabetes supplies, hearing aides and glasses. The card is available to NASN members and can be shared with others including students and their families.


Did you know...

The TSNO website has a "Resource" link with so much valuable information in just one click of the mouse! Examples include advocacy tools, AED's, asthma resources, confidentiality, diabetes care manual, federal agency links, food allergies, models, IHP Templates (my personal favorite), position statements, Scope and Standards, and so much more! Check it out at this link:




TSNO Executive Committee


PRESIDENT Karen Schwind - Region 13


PRESIDENT-ELECT Laurie Smith - Region 8


TREASURER Luisa Herrera- Region 19


SECRETARY Lisa Formby - Region 16


NASN DIRECTOR Francis Luna - Region 10







ADVOCACY CHAIR Becca Harkleroad- Region 13


SCHOOL HEALTH ISSUES Amber Cichocki- Region 10


MEMBER SERVICES Brandy Bowlen - Region 4



Membership Coordinator Ronnie Howard - Region 4


REGION PRESIDENTS Coordinator Denise Kablaitis - Region 13


COMMUNICATIONS Coordinator Monica Porras- Region 15


EXHIBIT LIAISON Elizabeth Goedde - Region 4



Kara DeLay - Region 8


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