Texas School Nurses Organization

May 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

The month of May! If there was ever a year to celebrate being a school nurse, 2021 is the year! This month we celebrate:

  • Mother’s Day May 9, 2021 to all those women who love and care for children!
  • School Nurse Day May 12, 2021 to all nurses who care daily for the students of their school!
  • Memorial Day May 31, 2021 commemorates all men and women who have died while serving in the military
  • The end of the 2020/2021 school year this month for some or next month for others.

NASN offers the above logo, social media images and a toolkit which you will find at https://www.nasn.org/nasn/advocacy/school-nurse-day

Most importantly this month, celebrate YOU! It is a great time to be a school nurse!

Please see the attached Proclamation from Governor Abbott in celebration of School Nurse Day on May 12, 2021!

Happy Day!

Karen S. Schwind, BSN, RN, NCSN

TSNO President


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School Nurse Day May 12, 2021

We honor you

Your Texas School Nurses Organization celebrates and acknowledges the accomplishments of School Nurses in Texas, their efforts in meeting the needs of today’s students by improving the delivery of health care in private and public schools, and their vital contributions to our local communities by helping all students remain healthy, ready to learn, in our schools. Governor Greg Abbott has therefore proclaimed Wednesday, May 12, 2021, as “School Nurse Day” in Texas, and commends its observance to all citizens.

Thank you for all you do

NASN School Nurse Day Toolkit

NASN's School Nurse Day toolkit, can be used in schools and communities to help spread the word about School Nurse Day. The toolkit includes social media posts, images, and information to help celebrate the contributions from school nurses.


Save the date

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We want to hear from you! TSNO and CATCH Global have identified overlapping priorities that would be amplified by collaboration.

We value your input to better understand the landscape of campus health resources and infrastructure in Texas schools, and we want to represent your attitudes and beliefs surrounding campus wellness.

We will utilize your input to create a long-term strategy of collaboration to promote and advocate for our shared priorities.

Please take a moment to answer this SHORT SURVEY. You could win a $25 Amazon gift card!

School Nurses In The Media

Years before COVID-19 disrupted life as we knew it, the American Academy of Pediatrics said every school should have a full-time school nurse, noting they play a vital role in keeping children healthy and present for learning. The pandemic has only raised the stakes: Nurses are needed to create and implement school safety plans and decide which students should be sent home because of coronavirus-like symptoms. This kind of work, at the heart of keeping children and an entire school community healthy, should not be relegated to non-medical professionals.

— Austin American Statesman Editorial Board

Managing Difficult Conversations

NASN has a great educational video about managing difficult conversations. It is a "quick micro-burst of learning through an interactive module that teaches school nurses a simple formula to use to respond effectively to challenging conversations". This is a great opportunity to learn how to mitigate a stressful situation.
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The Impact of Positive School Climate on Suicidality and Mental Health Among LGBTQ Adolescents: A Systematic Review

From the Journal of School Nursing

Martha Dewey Bergren, editor of The Journal of School Nursing, interviews author April Ancheta to discuss their article, "The Impact of Positive School Climate on Suicidality and Mental Health Among LGBTQ Adolescents: A Systematic Review".



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!


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Notes from Your NASN Director

My friends… You make a profound difference! We all know health care in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for all school nurses, yet you have been continuously championing for the Whole Student. This year, School Nurse Day is May 12th: NASN has created a National School Nurse Day toolkit to be used in your school and communities to help spread the word about your visibility and valuable contributions to keep all students safe, healthy, and ready to learn. Take advantage of the School Nurse Day Logo along with the images on your social media, as these are effective tools to celebrate your efforts and the critical role school nurses have in the school setting.

Next, after last year’s highly successful virtual conference, excitement is in the air with the opening of registration for this year’s Virtual NASN 2021 Conference and Virtual NASN 2021 Plus. Take advantage of the attractive early bird registration rates that ends on May 15th! At the conference, Texas school nurse leaders and the Texas Board of Nursing will present on the implementation of the Texas Board of Nursing-School Nurse Delegation Algorithms. Please take this short 3 question survey (which takes less than 3 minutes to complete), which gathers quality improvement data.

Each year during conference, the Endowment Fund Committee offers fundraising opportunities for school nurses to donate to the NASN Endowment Fund, which is used for school health and school nursing research, scholarships, and special projects. This year, Laurie Combe, inspired by both Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday and the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, will feature again Doubledown for Data: President’s Endowment Fund Challenge. No donation is too small - $2, $20, $200. Your generosity toward this effort will help fund essential school health and school nursing research and scholarships for our future. If you are unable to attend the Virtual Conference, and feel the desire to donate, you can do so by visiting here.

In closing, nursing wellness is still a top priority, especially during this time of extraordinary stress to our well-being. Spend time exercising, admiring the spring time flowers, and enjoying the fresh air and warm sun. Simple, small habits can be more manageable, yet still provide the wellness you need.

Warm wishes on School Nurses Day!

Francis Luna

NASN - TX 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)


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

Update from the Capitol

The 87th Session of the Texas Legislature continues to consider bills in committee and have had several floor votes to pass legislation. TSNO priorities are slow to get traction right now, but a GOOD NEWS update is that HB 3819 (relating to stock albuterol for students in respiratory distress, not necessarily an existing asthma diagnosis) passed through the House Public Health Committee and was sent to the Local & Consent calendar for consideration, which would basically ‘fast track’ it through the process of becoming law. Many thanks to TSNO President Karen Schwind and member Loree LaChance for testifying in support of that bill! Watch their testimony HERE (Karen starts at 52:45, Loree at 1:08:00).

Continue to watch TSNO School Nurse Net for any CALL TO ACTION that comes up!

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.

In Your Own Words

In the survey posted on School Nurse Net this week, many nurses listed “iceberg” as their one word to describe school nursing. This image reflects the meaning of that, and it rings true every year, but especially during the pandemic. Thank you, nurses, for all you do to keep students healthy and ready to learn!

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Have more words to describe School Nursing

Please give us one word to describe what school nurses do, who we are, what it means to you to be a school nurse, etc. You can give one answer or multiples. We would love to hear from you soon!

CLICK HERE to give us your word(s)!


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Quality Improvement Survey

At the 2021 NASN Conference, Texas school nurse leaders and the Texas Board of Nursing will present on the implementation of the Texas Board of Nursing - School Nurse Delegation Algorithms. Your help is needed to determine the quality improvement outcome of this system procedure change. Please take this short 3 question survey that takes less than 3 minutes to complete.
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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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.


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 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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