Texas School Nurses Organization

June 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.


This Edition of the TSNO Newsletter is Dedicated to Mrs. Frances Brown, TSNA (now TSNO) President 1999

Frances Elizabeth Wilson Brown, 68, of Temple, Texas passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 29, 2021 at home surrounded by her family. Frances was diagnosed in August of 2017 with acute myeloid leukemia, and received a bone marrow transplant on December 2017 from her sister Mary Esseltine. Frances was born to Grady and Marjorie Morrison Wilson of Belton Texas at Sewell-Long Hospital in Belton on January 31, 1953. Frances married, Terry Brown of Evant, TX on December 19, 1975 at First United Methodist Church in Belton, Texas. Frances was the proud mother to William Wilson Brown and Wesley Wilson Brown, and most loving “Granny” to two grandchildren she cherished and adored.

Frances graduated from Belton High School in 1971 and pursued her passion for nursing with the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in which she received her Bachelor’s of Nursing in 1975. Frances remained a supporter of UMHB, since her graduation, and could be found cheering on the UMHB Crusader football team with children and grandchildren.

Frances began her career as a nurse in 1975 at Hamilton General Hospital, then in September 1979 began her legacy of working as a school nurse. Frances was the school nurse for Hamilton ISD, Hico ISD, Evant ISD, Pottsville ISD, Oglesby ISD, and Jonesboro ISD and a few years later became the full time nurse at Hamilton ISD. In January 2006, she became the school nurse for Killeen ISD at Manor Middle School and then, Palo Alto Middle School. Frances retired in May 2016 after 37 years of school nursing. Frances held a true passion for nursing, in which she mentored many students in their education in becoming nurses from local college and universities, and developed lasting friendships with nurses and those she encountered throughout her career. Frances spoke highly and cherished the friendships and staff whom she encountered throughout her medical treatment with Scott and White until her last days.

Frances hobbies included serving as President of the Texas School Nurse Organization in 1999, spending hours on the lake fishing with Terry, camping, reading, crocheting, sewing, spoiling her grandchildren by any means, loved horses, and attending the Rodeo. Frances also had a love for riding Harley’s with Terry all over the United States and Canada for many years, and loved visiting the Cayman Brac to snorkel and soak up the rays.

Frances is survived by her loving husband of 45 years, Terry Brown, from Temple, Texas; Children, William and Brandee Brown, and granddaughter Sophia Brown of Hutto, Texas, Wesley and Carina Brown, and grandson, Noah Brown of Temple, Texas; Sister, Mary Wilson Esseltine and husband John of Moody, Texas. Nieces, Brandy Wilson Agnew and Macey Wilson of Groesbeck, Texas, and Hope Esseltine of Temple, Texas; and many extended family and friends.

Frances is preceded in death by her parents and brother, Charles Earl Wilson.

~ Ms. Brown advocated for school nurses and assisted with getting the definition of a school nurse into the TAC code. We are thankful for her service and extend our condolences to Mrs. Brown's family. ~


President's Message

June is Finally Here! When school began back in August, I didn’t know if the end of the school year would EVER arrive! This has been a year! And a great year to be a school nurse! It is surely a ride to remember!

Be sure to take a few moments to complete the survey 'Every Student Counts!'. You will find the link under the Quality Improvement section of this newsletter. If you cannot answer all the questions that's ok! Please be as thorough as you can! Survey must be completed by June 30, 2021. Don't delay -- fill it out today!

The Logo map below includes sunshines! Each sunshine represents your Executive team’s favorite area of the state. Click on the PDF link for an interactive map , and consider visiting some of our favorite spots!

Enjoy this summer! Be sure to Rest, Relax and Do something special JUST FOR YOU!!!!

(Map sites are not to scale!)

Happy Summer!

Karen S. Schwind, BSN, RN, NCSN

TSNO President

Big picture
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.


Big picture


Save the date

Big picture
Big picture


Big picture


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.

Free Online Course on How to Use the WSCC Model to Implement Policies and Sustain Chronic Health Condition Management in Schools

School nurse involvement with school wellness policies is critical to ensure the overall health and well-being of students. This free National Association of School Nurses (NASN) course provides knowledge about the updated Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model wellness policy. It also includes the new NASN supplemental language to address chronic health condition management.


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!


Big picture


Notes from Your NASN Director

School Nursing Advancing Forward Beyond the Pandemic

This pandemic has emphasized the importance of school nursing in Texas: School nurses were challenged to revise their operational process to meet the needs of student health care, changed every step of the way during the pandemic. School nurses consistently rose to the occasion, exhibiting fortitude through turbulent times and continuing to offer student-centered care by way of additional school health services for students, families, faculty, and their school community.

Currently, not all students in Texas have a school nurse all day, every day. Health disparities remain across the state, with some rural areas not having a school nurse and/or one assigned to several campuses. According to the 2020 Texas County Health Rankings report, 21% of Texas children are living in poverty, higher than the national average of 18% and a reliable indicator of unmet health needs. Many factors shape our opportunities to be healthy and influence how well and how long we live, and health factors represent the things school nurses can change to improve health for all students.

Hiring additional school nurses supports the health and well-being of students, and now is our best opportunity for school nurses to ASK for an increase in school nurse workforce. The American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER ) funds are provided to state educational agencies and school districts to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the pandemic on students. Texas was allocated $12 Billion with 90% ($11 Billion) to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and 10% ($1 Billion) allocated to the State Education Agency. NASN has provided American Rescue Plan talking points for school nurses to use in their advocacy efforts with their local school leaders, parents, community organizations and elected officials. NASN also offers a position statement, School Nurse Workload: Staffing for Safe Care for your guidance.

Ask now on behalf of your students!

In your service,

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)

An Unprecedented Opportunity

"School nurses have an unprecedented opportunity to request funds from the American Rescue Plan be allocated for school health services. School districts across the country are tasked with submitting plans for this influx of federal dollars to their state Departments of Education (DOE). The timeline is tight, but it is not too late to submit your recommendations. If we don’t ask, the answer is always no…"

---Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN


Advocacy In Action

Sine Die… The final gavel fell on the 87th Session, which was like no other session in history. Several bills we were watching went far, but not quite to the finish line. HB 3819 (stock albuterol bill) was well-received in both chambers but didn’t make it all the way through. While disappointing in the immediate future, this is promising for it to pass easily during the next session. HB 2287 passed and creates a Comprehensive Task Force for Public School Mental Health Services that will include School Nurses. This important bill will shine a light on the highs and lows of services provided, and hopefully will lead to better resources for services. An exciting bill that is tangentially related to school nursing in terms of student health: SB 248 passed, which will regulate vape shops and increase penalties for sale of all tobacco products to minors. Vape shops in Texas currently have no licensing or regulation process, and no consequences for illegal sales.

Most notably, and with HUGE thanks to our school nurses - SB 1669 (which would eliminate all school immunization requirements) did NOT make it out of committee. I am proud to share that, based on overwhelming feedback from school nurses, the bill author submitted a Committee Substitute that removed all school immunization from his bill, but the bill still had several pieces that were objectionable - and we are relieved that it didn’t go anywhere. This is a credit to ALL OF YOU who called, emailed, and signed petitions against this bill.

More updates coming after we pore through the bills that DID pass and evaluate their impact on our practice as school nurses. Stay tuned!

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.


Big picture


Every Student Counts Survey, 2020-2021 SY

To continue the data collection for the 'Every Student Counts' data collection program, please complete the VERY IMPORTANT information prior to leaving your school for the summer! Because of the challenge which COVID has presented this year, this data is more important than ever! Please complete these questions by June 30, 2021. Thank you in advance for your time!

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.


Big picture


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.

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

The Texas Division of Emergency Management has maps for that!


Big picture


Big picture
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.

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 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


Want to read on the go...

Are you IN?

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