Date of Paper/Work

5-2016

Type of Paper/Work

Scholarly project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing

Department

Nursing

Advisor(s)

Emily Nowak

Abstract

In the United States, elementary school-aged children spend 943 hours each year within their school walls (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD], 2013). Schools are meant to be a holistic environment where all students can develop intellectually, physically and emotionally. Ripe with opportunities, changes in healthcare delivery have shifted the burden of care to the community setting (Shaw & McCabe, 2008), turning the school into a unique environment for population-based health care, and health promotion. Opportunities for collaboration have been enhanced with the implementation of the Affordable Care

Act (ACA) in 2014. The ACA calls for an increase in interprofessional practice across professions, where various health providers work together to deliver high-quality care (2014). In this paper, the author examines how the competencies of interprofessional practice originally designed for healthcare workers in healthcare settings could be extended to the school setting, including the rationale and a process for doing so. Following a background on school nursing and education, a review of the literature and discussion provides support for the recommendation that academic institutions offering both baccalaureate teacher preparation and baccalaureate nursing programs should consider the development of interdisciplinary coursework focused on pediatric school health. Recommendations on how the create such a course are outlined.

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