Texas School Nurses Organization

December 2019

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

We are heading into one of the busiest times of the year. We are busy in our personal lives trying to make the perfect Christmas and school is busy with all the programs and field trips that the kids are going on. Try to remember to take time for yourself during this next month. Try to relax and just enjoy!!!

If you work with a school nurse or know school nurses who are not members of NASN/TSNO please encourage them to join. There are so many benefits available to use for our students. In addition to the vision vouchers we also have access to a RX card that can save them money on their medications. For you we have sample documents, links to important information and access to free CNEs. So many reasons to be a member of your professional organization.

For those of you who attended conference you were able to hear Dr. Sulak speak on the Essential Elements to Health and Happiness. The handouts from her presentation are still available on the TSNO website. As a school nurse you are a role model for both staff and students. We need to exhibit healthy behaviors if we want those in our care to be as healthy as they can be. One thing I have found is that when you aren't happy it can affect your health. I ask you to ponder the following:

  • Are you happy?
  • What makes you the happiest?
  • What can you change to increase your happiness?
  • Are you healthy?
  • Are you taking time for yourself?
  • What can you do to be healthier?
  • Can you commit to making the changes needed?

It may be hard to be honest on all the questions but the only one getting hurt by not being truthful is you. When I look at them I see several things in my life that I need to change. I know that some of them will be hard but I have to remember that not only will I benefit from the changes but those I care about most will benefit also.

As we go into this busy and hectic season let's try to find time for ourselves. Let's be better to our bodies and minds. Let's be kinder to those around us. Let's look for opportunities to help others. Hopefully in doing this you will become healthier and happier.

Merry Christmas,



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Cultural Competency – Do you embrace diversity?

My story begins with my elderly mother of 92 years when she was recently hospitalized for a urinary tract infection. This infection caused severe confusion and combativeness. She normally speaks English and Spanish very well but during this illness, her native language spoken was Spanish, which was a cultural barrier for some of the nurses. She needed her family by her side to provide that cultural need and familiar cultural care.

According to Selekman, Shannon & Yonkaitis (2019), cultural competency consists of attitudes, knowledge and skills necessary for providing quality care to diverse populations.

School nurses have a pivotal role in navigating student care and it is important to be sensitive to the cultural needs of each student. School communities are transforming requiring the school nurse to be able to identify cultural needs in order to improve student outcomes and eliminate disparities and inequities in the health status of people of diverse racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

NASN provides a wealth of information and resources at your fingertips on Cultural Competency. In the new edition of the School Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice, Culturally Congruent Practice was included as a new standard. You can get your copy in the NASN Bookstore today.

Culturally Competent Care Video

In your service,

Francis Luna, MSN, RN, NCSN

TSNO TX-Director

NASN Executive Committee Member


Selekman, J., Shannon, R.A., & Yonkaitis, C.F. (2019). School Nursing a Comprehensive Text, (3rd ed.) Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company


Seizure Recognition and Related First Aid Programs

The Texas Education Code (TEC), §38.033, as added by House Bill (HB) 684, 86th Texas Legislature, permits the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to approve an online course of instruction for seizure recognition and related first aid provided by a nonprofit national foundation that supports the welfare of individuals with epilepsy and seizure disorders. School nurses employed by a school district and school district employees whose duties include regular contact with students are required to complete the online course of instruction.

The following list of online courses meet all requirements outlined in statute:

The Epilepsy Foundation (https://www.epilepsy.com/)

Managing Students with Seizures: The Importance of School Nurses
Cost: Free

Seizure Training for School Personnel
Cost: Free


National Certification

The Nationally Certified School Nurse credential reflects competence and professionalism. To earn the NCSN a nurse must demonstrate a high level of education, clinical practice experience and knowledge.

To learn more visit https://www.nbcsn.org/

Congratulations to our 19 Newly Nationally Certified School Nurses!

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We Need Your Help!

Please consider filling out the form below to help us tailor the next conference CNE's to your needs and specifications! There are TWO separate surveys below, so please be sure to do both! They are really quick and will help us create the best conference experience for you!

Survey #1

Survey #2


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Stress and the Holidays by Deana Bunting

With depression on the rise in our children and teens, we as school nurses need to continue to be watchful of any of the warning signs, especially at this time of year. While most people love the Holidays, it can be a very rough time for certain kids. We, as school nurses and staff members, count the days down to the Holiday break, but a lot of kids become increasingly anxious and depressed as that day closes in. Some of their fears are things like, “Is mom or dad going to be totally stressed out about Christmas? “ ,“What will I eat while at home on break?”, “How will I stay warm?”, “How will I deal with ___ if they decide to hit me?” “Will I get anything this year from Santa?” “Will I be able to see my friends?”, etc. The building anxiety leading up to the Holiday breaks can lead to very dark places for these kids emotionally as well as physically. If we can try and think ahead of some of these problems by identifying kids at risk, we can possibly provide for some of those needs to help them through the Holiday break. According to The National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 3 million U.S. teens aged 12 to 17 had at least one major depressive episode in the past year and as the holiday’s fast approach, these feelings often worsen. This statistic is taken from a great Blog written from Jennifer Salerno, NP from October 13, 2017. In the article she provides 3 steps to identify at risk kids and help improve communication. One-Identify the struggle by looking for red flags or behaviors. Two-Educate yourself on different stresses teens face and Three-Start the Conversation with the child. The link below is for her blog article.


We have something at our school called Pirate Pantry for kids whom anyone sees as needing help. We collect supplies donated and create bags for every weekend and Holiday break for our identified kids with certain needs. These supplies consist of clothing, shoes, food, deodorant, toothbrushes/paste, school supplies. For Christmas this year we are giving each one of our kids that we have identified a form that has two questions on it. What is something that is a need that is $20 or less and what is something that is a want for $20 or less. We have several faculty members that have donated to make sure these kids have something to take home for Christmas. This is just a small attempt to help those in need.

As school nurses, we often “wear many hats” in providing services to our kids. With the rise of anxiety and depression among kids, we have to educate ourselves on mental health issues our kids are facing today, so that we can provide the care they need. Often it simply means opening our eyes and really looking around our clinics and schools. So many of our kids “ouchies” today are not visible on the outside requiring a band aid, but they are on the inside requiring love, listening and patience. So as we get ready and excited for the Holiday break, take a close look around and see if you can recognize any kids who are at risk for increasing depression or anxiety. Chances are you will see more than you thought you would.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Deana Bunting, RN


Texas Nurses in the Literature!

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Check out this article in the Texas Nurses’ Magazine by Karen Schwind! Have you published an article or been featured in a news story? Would you like to share your story? Reach out to me and let's share!


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The Value of Membership

Could you refer just one friend to join TSNO/NASN if you shared this little tidbit?

Did you know that, for less than $160 per year (the cost of TSNO/NASN membership), you can bring valuable vision resources to your students? Imagine if each student you provided with a VSP Global vision voucher required an eye exam and glasses valued at $400. If you used 25 vouchers for qualifying students, you would save your school community $10,000! See the PDF below for more information, and if you are ready for a friend referral, share this link:


This is just one example of how membership pays for itself! Stay tuned for more examples!


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Measles Update 2019 with Karen Schwind

Measles 2019……… the rest of the story.

The most recent measles outbreak ― the worst in the U.S. since 1992 caught the attention of the media since the Disneyland exposures began in 2015. Between then and now many cases have been diagnosed world-wide with 1,261 individual cases of measles confirmed in the US in 31 states through November 7, 2019. The current count of cases in Texas stands at 21 cases.

Some thoughts to ponder and educate yourself regarding:

· Measles Virus infection diminishes preexisting antibodies, Measles wipe immune system’s memory.

· “Measles Devastates Families, Challenges Doctors,” Web MD posted by Medscape in October 2019.

· Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) , Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis Death

· MMR vaccination

· Infant exposure prior to vaccination age. Is there Herd Immunity?

· Complication of Measles

· Measles in the Pacific Island of Samoa

To learn more, visit these resources:

About Measles Virus

Measles in Texas 2019

Toolkit to Raise Awareness About Measles: National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID)

See infographic below

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DSHS Vaping-Related Pulmonary Illness updates!

Dear Public Health Partner,

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has updated the state update and Update on Investigation of Vaping-Related Pulmonary Illness document on the websites:

The websites and documents will be updated as information and resources continue to become available. We encourage you to share this information with your partners and stakeholders. For questions, please contact the DSHS Environmental Surveillance and Toxicology Branch at 512-776-7268 or 512-422-0925 or epitox@dshs.texas.gov.

This service is provided to you at no charge by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Visit us on the web at http://www.dshs.texas.gov.

Manage Preferences | Delete Profile | Help


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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:



Develop a 20/20 Vision for Your Wellness in 2020- A Very Special Offer for You!

Thanks for attending the TSNO Conference in San Antonio November 1-2, 2019. We are extremely pleased that 277 attendees completed the Living WELL Aware wellness survey. WOW! The difficulty now is making lasting changes to improve our health and happiness and that of those with whom we interact. Change is NOT easy! How can we increase the likelihood of developing goals and implementing a plan to make lasting improvements? By staying involved and committed to the pursuit of wellness!

We are excited to announce that TNSO is partnering with Dr. Patricia Sulak to help us on our wellness journey. Beginning January 6, 2020, Dr. Sulak will begin an evening online live 13-week wellness course which will guide attendees through the essential elements to health and happiness - - and so much more! This is NOT a repeat of the book and workbook. Webinar sessions will be held through ZOOM on Mondays from 7:30pm to 8:30pm and will be easy to access on computer or by phone. Cost of the course is $195 but for school nurses only is reduced to only $99 through December 12. That’s less than $8 per session to hear Dr. Sulak for many hours!

Develop a 20/20 Vision for Your WELLNESS in 2020 by traveling the journey with Dr. Sulak who will guide us in the key elements to improve our well-being. Follow up anonymous health surveys will be sent out at 3, 6, and 12 months to tract the results of the group. Get on the wellness wagon and Make 2020 The Year of the New YOU! For more information and to register: https://tsno2020visionfor2020.eventbrite.com

For ANY questions relating to this event, please contact dana@livingwellaware.com

Patricia J. Sulak, MD

Living WELL Aware LLC


Download the Flier with all the links you need to sign up and Live Well Aware in 2020!


TSNO Executive Committee


PRESIDENT Lisa Formby - Region 16


PRESIDENT-ELECT Karen Schwind - Region 13


TREASURER Luisa Herrera- Region 19


Secretary Sarah Alexander - Region 15


NASN DIRECTOR Francis Luna - Region X







ADVOCACY CHAIR Chanthini Thomas - Region IV


SCHOOL HEALTH ISSUES Amber Cichockia- Region X


MEMBER SERVICES Denise Kablaitis - Region 13



Membership Coordinator Linda Howard - Region 8


REGION PRESIDENTS Coordinator Deana Bunting - Region 5 deanabunting.tsno@gmail.com

Communications Coordinator Brandy Bowlen - Region IV bbowlen1@kleinisd.net

EXHIBIT LIAISON Amy Huey - Region X ahuey.tsno@gmail.com


Are you IN?

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