Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Doctor of Nursing Practice Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Alice Swan


Doctor of Nursing Practice


Children and youth with special health care needs have the dual task of learning, growing and developing, and learning to live with a chronic health condition. The health care system is improving health care delivery through person-centered care and medical homes, focusing on parents as the primary care-givers. However, an important question is who is caring for the children on a daily basis? Starting as early as age four, during the school year children are in school the majority of their weekday waking hours. The school nurse is their health caregiver, teacher, advocate and collaborator, ensuring they stay healthy and safe at school. For children with chronic health conditions, school nurses’ role as care coordinator is vital. With incremental change in practice, school nurses can improve their child-centered, proactive interventions and document an even greater impact on children’s health status and academic success. This paper proposes a guide for school nurses in planning and implementing the care coordination role.