NASN is celebrating 50 years as an organization. Part of NASN history, includes the origination of NBCSN as an organization. While NBCSN is a separate entity, NASN continues its support of national certification of school nurses. This support is evident in past, present, and future collaborative efforts.
History – NASN’s mission of advancing the health and learning of students by supporting and promoting school nurses to meet rigorous school nurse practice standards dates to its inception in 1968. National certification was considered when the American Nurses Association expressed that it did not have an interest in a certification test for school nurses. In 1984 NASN did a needs survey to determine if a certification exam was feasible. A proposal was presented and approved by the NASN board in 1985, the first test was given in 1986 and in 1991, NASNs first child was birthed, NBCSN became incorporated (Wolfe, 2018).
Since 1992, NASN and NBCSN have continued their collaborative efforts by having a liaison representative attend the Board of Director meetings. Many school nursing leaders have held elected positions on both the NASN and NBCSN boards. Both NASN and NBCSN see the communication and on-going collaboration between the two organizations as a priority. These collaborative efforts continue and are expanding.
Presently – NASN supports national certification by encouraging nurses to be certified, supporting those in the process, and recognizing those who have achieved national certification.
NASN supports the promotion of testing for national certification by hosting microsites on NASN’s School Nurse Net for NBCSN candidates. NBCSN monitors the sites, providing guidance and learning targets for potential testing candidates. Additionally, NASN hosts a microsite for NBCSN affiliate liaisons from around the country. This site allows for communication, idea sharing, and strategies for the promotion of national certification.
NASN supports those seeking to further their education by offering scholarships. Learn more at NASN scholarships.
NASN focuses several publications and articles on national certification. NASN has a position statement titled Education, Licensure, and Certification of School Nurses. New certification test prep materials are being considered in a collaboration between NASN and NBCSN. NASN supports re-certification by its considerable list of continuing education opportunities offered in a variety of genres. Continuing education credits can be earned at NASN’s annual conference, webinars, toolkits and online programs or classes. If you haven’t visited NASN’s site recently, there are many new offerings available. Learn more at https://www.nasn.org/programs/elearning
NBCSN celebrates nationally certified school nurses at NASN’s annual conference by recognizing those who have achieved national certification with ribbons and by hosting a reception to celebrate NBCSN award winners and volunteers.
Looking to the Future – A shared goal of both NASN and NBCSN is to promote the specialty of school nursing, giving voice to the students, families and communities school nurses represent. Recognition of the importance of national certification is critical in order to reach this goal. NASN is working to increase the awareness of national certification by research designed to expand the knowledge base of school nursing interventions and it impacts on student educational outcomes, including looking at models of school health services and levels of education.
NASN supports advocacy at a local, state and national level. Through advocacy efforts, NASN is seeking to increase awareness of the specialty practice of school nursing, included in that awareness is national certification.
The question is how we continue our combined efforts to support nurses in achieving national certification. We need you. NASN and NBCSN are volunteer organizations and in order to have continued success and reach the goal of building future leaders, more volunteers are needed. Learn how to volunteer at NASN volunteer opportunities to complete your volunteer profile. Learn more about volunteering for an NBCSN project by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wolfe, L. C. (2018). Power of the Past, Celebrate the Present, Force of the Future Part 1: Our Story NASN’s First 25 Years. NASN School Nurse, 33(4), 228-235. https://doi.org/10.1177/1942602X187791
Lynnette J Ondeck, Med, BSN, RN, NCSN
National Association of School Nurse