Texas School Nurses Organization

April 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

TSNO President’s message April 2021

Karen S. Schwind, BSN, RN, NCSN

April Greetings! Spring has sprung! It is so beautiful to see the trees show their life with leaves and pollen! As the bluebonnets are showing their colors, did you ever look closely at the bluebonnet? When the blossoms are first opened, the center of the petals are white. Once pollinated by bees, butterflies or hummingbirds, the center changes to a deep reddish purple.

So much happening this spring both in the garden and with TSNO!

Leadership Academy 2021 took place this past weekend. Your Board of Directors include the Executive Team and the Regional Presidents. Beginning Friday evening and into Saturday morning and afternoon, your Board collaborated and planned for the upcoming November conference, reviewed and updated the TSNO Strategic Plan, and learned about Advocacy and Bullying in the School Nurse workplace attending both in person and virtually. I am proud to work with such an amazing team of dedicated, knowledgeable volunteer leaders who want to make a difference for the School Nurses of TEXAS!

Advocacy – It truly is a great time to be a school nurse! See the Advocacy message from TSNO below and use this opportunity for your voice to be heard. Contact your legislators and phone or email them (from your personal email, not your work email) to let them know the ‘TSNO Call to Action Items!’

TSNO Virtual Townhall – see below for the details. Save the date now! Thursday April 15, 2021 at 6:00 pm.

TSNO Annual Conference November 12-13-14, 2021 at the Grapevine Embassy Suites (DFW North.) Your conference planning team has many amazing offerings including those required by our license being offered on Friday 11/12/21. Plan now to attend in person! Save the Date coming soon!

As you celebrate the spring holidays, please be safe and continue to practice and educate others regarding health habits! Thank you for all you do for your families, students and staff members!


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School nurses have become crucial in battling the pandemic, but Texas doesn't require districts to have them.

The Texas Tribune published an article by Aliyya Sawby last month, March 2021, that highlights the indispensable role of the school nurse. Click on the article below for a good read.


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Did You Know That NASN 2021 is Going Virtual!

Click the link for more information!

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TSNO Town Hall coming soon!

Join us Thursday, April 15, at 6:00 p.m. for updates from the 87th Session of the Texas Legislature

Presented by Kevin Stewart, JD - TSNO Lobbyist

and Becca Harkleroad, RN - TSNO Advocacy Chair




Don't miss your opportunity to attend this five-part School Nurse Forensic Boot Camp jointly hosted by the Alaska Nurses Association and the Academy of Forensic Nursing!

Every Kid Healthy Week

Don’t miss out on celebrating Every Kid Healthy Week (April 26-30) next month! From Mindful Monday to Fitness Friday, plan a schedule of fun activities that help kids be healthy in body and mind. Our partners at Action for Healthy Kids have tons of ways to participate at home or at school and will be posting activities on social media throughout the week, too. To get ideas and more information click down below.


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Notes from Your NASN Director!

NASN Toolkits Improve Student Health Outcomes

According to the NASN Position Statement: Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child: Implications for 21st Century School Nurses, the school nurse is ideally positioned to provide a whole child approach, which supports students by guiding school leaders to consider the child’s holistic development from early childhood to adolescence. The school nurse provides student-centered care by utilizing the 21st Century School Nursing Framework, with the goal of facilitating the entire WSCC model.

NASN offers a robust collection of twelve toolkits, located in the NASN Learning Center, packaged with multiple resources which have been specifically developed to improve the health and well-being of children, youth, and families. They include:

• Emergency Medications

• Back-to-School

• Improving Care Coordination for students with Chronic Conditions

• Manual: A School Nurse-Led Initiative to Address Chronic Absenteeism

• School Nurse Website

• Immunization Transition

• Keep Flu out of School

• Naloxone in Schools

• Better Health, Better Learning

• CDC Healthy Schools

• CDC Parents for Health Schools

• School-Based Asthma Management Program

I urge you to dig deep into the treasure chest of resources NASN offers to its members.

In your service,


Francis Luna, MSN, RN, NCSN

NASN TX-Director

Leadership Academy 2021!

Thank you to all our TSNO leaders who joined, in-person and virtually, in the TSNO Leadership Academy. We want to give a huge thanks to Mr. Joe Luna for capturing the laughter and learning! Can't wait to see all of our members at the TSNO conference November 12-14, 2021!
All photos by Joe Luna of JLP Event Photography
Mr. Joe Luna of JLP Event Photography


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)


School Health Issues Committee would like to hear from you!

Please send us what information you need to know about that pertains to School Health. We will focus on YOUR ideas and requests.

Please email:

Amber Cichocki RN: acichockitsno@gmail.com

Michelle Butler RN: mbutler@essc12.net

Ada Salazar RN: acsalazar3b@gmail.com

Amy Martinez RN: alyons@neisd.net

Jennifer Christian RN: jchristian@atlisd.net


Advocacy In Action!

The Immunization Partnership (TIP) needs our help! See their message below…

HELP US Ask for a hearing for HB 325!

HB 325 - This is a bill filed by Rep. Donna Howard with bipartisan support from 5 other state representatives. This bill will have the effect of converting our ImmTrac2 system (the state's immunization registry) from an opt-in to an opt-out system, which is the standard in most states and would have the effect of including many more families in the database. Bill text located here: https://legiscan.com/TX/text/hb325/2021


FIRST PRIORITY: Call Rep. Stephanie Klick's office at (512) 463-0599. She is the Chair of the Public Health Committee, where HB 325 has been referred. Here is a sample script you can use:

"Hi, my name is ______ (if you are a constituent please say that) and I am calling to ask Chair Klick to SET A HEARING FOR HB 325 as soon as possible. There is an urgent need to standardize our state’s immunization registry, ImmTrac2, through an opt-out system. The immunization registry is a critical tool needed for public health emergency response such as what we are experiencing currently with the COVID-19 pandemic and as we begin mass vaccination this week. I urge the Chair to give this bill a hearing in the public health committee as soon as possible. Thank you."

SECOND PRIORITY: If you are unable to call, you can also email Rep. Klick's office. Just click on this link to take action --> https://default.salsalabs.org/T986a0ca1-e448-4231-a66f-b78126477c3a/2057668e-2f66-4b99-88ff-fb5d0fe87ea4.

If you'd like to take your advocacy to the next level and become an active member of our grassroots Immunize Texas network, please send an email to info@immunizetx.com and put in the subject "I Want To Be A Super Advocate" and we'll get you started on joining our vibrant group.

Thank you for everything you're doing to support immunizations and if there's anything we can do to help you in your vaccine advocacy journey, let us know!


Call the Public Health Committee office. Teri Avery is the clerk there, and the phone number is (512) 463-0806. Not sure what to say? Here is a sample script you can use:

“Hello, my name is _______________. I am calling to urge the Public Health Committee to put HB 325 on the agenda for hearing in committee as soon as possible.”

If you’re feeling bold, you can add: “This bill would strengthen privacy protection of our state’s immunization registry, as well as making it more efficient and comprehensive. The state immunization registry is a critical tool for public health emergency preparedness and response, as we are seeing with COVID-19. This bill needs to be heard to protect and improve the Texas public health system.”

As We Move Through The Rest Of The Session

Please communicate with your state senator and/or representative about specific bills related to nursing and student health. Email is often best for this; things happen FAST when bills start moving. Learn how to find mailing and email addresses for your senator or representative. (Who represents you? Click HERE to find out.)

Not sure what to say? Here is a sample note for reaching out about specific bills. Notice the word constituent is used more than once. For great effect, use this for your subject line: “Constituent Input - HB/SB _____”

The email option is quick and easy, and the message still gets conveyed. Remember, every small action you do amplifies the voice of school nurses everywhere!

For the most up-to-date Bill Trackers for TSNO, go to the TSNO website and look under: About TSNO > Legislative Priorities


NASN Elections- Don't Forget to Vote by April 15th!

This is just a friendly reminder that the 2021 NASN Election officially opened on March 15th and ends April 15th at midnight Eastern Time. Attached you will find one file:

NASN Elections 2021 Ad

This file contains a list of those running for office, instructions on casting your online ballot, deadlines, and more information on the election process.

Thank you for helping us reach all members with this important information. If you have any questions, please visit the election website, www.nasn.org/about-nasn/elections
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TEA School Health Survey- Has your district done this?

Make sure your district data is counted! The annual School Health Survey is available for school district and open-enrollment charter school completion through May 28, 2021.


Understand School Nurse Perceptions, Knowledge, Application, and Preferences

Public health nurses and researchers from the University of Kansas, Texas Christian University, and Wright State University are recruiting school nurses from across the country to help them understand your perceptions, knowledge, application, and preferences in using crisis and emergency risk communication methods for disseminating information about COVID-19. To find out more please click on the link or flyer below.

Supporting Students in Addressing Mental Health Issues

I am a PhD student at UT (Austin), School of Nursing. As part of my dissertation study, I want to support school nurses in addressing mental health issues with adolescent students. Learning about your current practices will help identify opportunities to provide you additional support, allow to advocate for positive changes in mental health interventions, and can have future policy implications.

Please share your experiences through my survey, which should take 20-25 minutes. Your input will make a positive difference.

You will also have an opportunity to be entered into a drawing to win a $50 gift card (55 available).

Survey Link can be found below.

Ashwini Hoskote MPH, RN, PhD Student

The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing



Food Allergy Coaching Certification Available!

Food Allergy Coaching Certification is available through Allergy & Asthma Network!

● Earn certification as a food allergy coach.

● Expand your client base with this groundbreaking area of practice.

● Watch a 12-module prerecorded webinar series.

● May earn up to 11 hours of continuing education credits (*CE approval pending).

*Check with your licensing board about applying these credits Have you ever wanted to help the 6+ million kids living with food allergies? Often, these children and families are coping with high stress, high anxiety, PTSD, bullying, health behavioral demands, disordered eating, family discord, and reduced quality of life. They are referred to mental health practitioners; however, there are few, if any, who are educated appropriately about food allergy. This 12-hour prerecorded webinar series will give you the tools to support children, teens and families coping with a food allergy diagnosis. It will help you to:

● Understand the food allergy experience

● Increase empathy for people with food allergies, their caregivers and their families

● Recognize and meet mental and behavioral health food allergy needs

If interested, please contact Tonya Winders, CEO, at twinders@AllergyAsthmaNetwork.org or Sloane Miller, LMSW, Food Allergy Coach Program Lead, at smiller@allergyasthmanetwork.org.

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The Oliver Foundation is Awarding Grants!

Deadline to apply- April 15, 2021

Apply for a Healthy Choices Grant

The goal of the Oliver Foundation is to encourage children, families and communities in Texas to improve the eating and physical activity patterns of Pre-school, Elementary, Middle School and High School students.


The American Nurses Association, together with leading nursing and healthcare organizations, launched a nurse hub site where critical, current, and credible COVID-19 vaccine information can be easily accessed.

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!

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.


Whiz Resources

Summer Camps Are Already Looking For a Few Good Nurses!

Adventure and exciting experiences await you! Share your gifts and change the lives of others. This will be the summer you always remember!

Super Summer Texas!

Super Summer Texas

Super Summer is a teaching ministry hidden in a camp. We support churches by teaching 7th - 12th grade students to know and share the gospel. Each summer we program five events (sessions/weeks) on five Texas Baptist university campuses. Our events are made possible through the service of adult volunteers in a wide variety of areas from teaching, administration, team-building, security, small group leaders, etc. Due to the size (300-700 people/event) of our events and the requirements set forth by the universities we recruit qualified individuals to serve as volunteer Medical Staff.

We try to recruit two to three licensed or certified medical professionals in order to have a full Medical Staff at each session of Super Summer. The Medical Staff responsibilities include, but are not limited to, being “on call” during the week of Super Summer to assess, treat and/or refer medical complaints for outside treatment. Medical Staff also manages the collection and administration of medication.


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 X


NOMINATIONS COORDINATOR Deana Bunting - Region 5 deanabunting.tsno@gmail.com




ADVOCACY CHAIR Becca Harkleroad- Region 13


SCHOOL HEALTH ISSUES Amber Cichocki- Region X


MEMBER SERVICES Brandy Bowlen - Region IV brandybowlen.tsno@gmail.com


Membership Coordinator Ronnie Howard - Region IV ronniehoward.tsno@gmail.com

REGION PRESIDENTS Coordinator Denise Kablaitis - Region 13


COMMUNICATIONS Coordinator Monica Porras- Region 15


EXHIBIT LIAISON Elizabeth Goedde - Region IV ElizabethGoedde.tsno@gmail.com


Are you IN?

Connect with with TSNO on LinkedIn and grow your professional network!