School Nurses and Nurse Practitioners Partner To Address ADHD

Nursing groups are working together to help establish better communication between school nurses and pediatric healthcare providers to provide greater assistance to children with ADHD.

Two nursing associations are collaborating to help better address the needs of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Last week the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) announced they are teaming up to provide a more well-rounded perspective on the medical and academic needs of children with ADHD.

“We value our school nurse partners and together we are on the front lines of diagnosing and treating children with ADHD,” NAPNAP President Cathy Haut, said in a release. “Sharing information can help us provide the best possible care to our patients with complex medical, educational, and mental health needs. Good communication among providers also benefits the child by protecting them within the social context of school.”

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 11 percent of children between 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD since 2011.

An article published in the January/February 2016 issue of the Journal for Pediatric Health Care also noted that “the school environment plays a crucial role in influencing the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents.” The article further highlighted the importance of relaying information such as medication administration and treatment efficacy between school nurses and healthcare providers, including pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs).

One common barrier to better communication between school nurses and APRNs is a misunderstanding among parents that they need to sign release forms allowing school nurses to share information with other healthcare providers. But by overcoming such barriers and fostering better communication, APRNs, for example, may be able to prescribe long-acting medications that do not need to be administered during the school day, therefore reducing the stigma of school-nurse visits for students.

“School nurses are the bridge connecting health and learning and provide care coordination for students diagnosed with ADHD to optimize learning,” said Beth Mattey, NASN president, in a statement. “Effective communication and collaboration among school nurses and pediatric-focused APRNs enable student-centered care and solutions.”


Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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