Research! What words come to mind when you think of research? Data, analysis, time-consuming, evidenced-based, scientific, collaborative, necessary, and needed. School nurses recognize the power of research to advance their practice and voice, but at times struggle with the process.  NASN and NBCSN have long been committed to advancing school nurse practice.  Research that focuses on certification and the impact it has on school health outcomes is one way to recognize and promote the importance of becoming an NCSN.

NASN has a long history of recognizing the importance of research.  Research grants have been awarded since 1982 and in 2015, NASN began funding research from its own Endowment Fund. The Endowment Fund was established to advance school nursing practice by supporting research focused on school nursing and health of school-aged children, to advance and fund quality school nursing practice and school-affiliated delivery of healthcare and provide scholarships for school nurses seeking graduate degrees and/or certification in advanced nursing practice. In June 2019, the NASN Board released in 2019-2020 research priorities. NASN’s fourth research priorities focuses on structural measures of school health data.  One of the structural measures identified is certification. For information on NASN’s research grant applications please visit NASN research grant applications.  NASN next cycle of research grant applications will be due in the fall of 2020. 

NASN has developed a multitiered approach to systematically bring the vision of the National School health Data Set: Every Student Counts to life. NASN’s three prongs include School Nurse Capacity, Uniform Data Points, and Data Infrastructure. To increase the capacity of the school nurse to collect data, NASN has developed education webinars, toolkits, templates, podcasts, conference breakouts, articles, and other resources for the affiliate. NASN is carefully examining school health data points to identify a standardized data set that will inform best practices. NASN anticipates the continued development of key partnerships with universities and experts in health, education and data management to build an infrastructure that will gather and aggregate information into one system. To identify your state data coordinator click here.

NASN is looking to other groups with like missions to expand research capabilities. A new partner is AFFIRM research, an apolitical organization, comprised of a group of healthcare professionals whose mission is to “End the epidemic of violence plaguing our nation”. Developing these partnerships will increase the reach of the school nurse voice. Additionally, NASN collaborates with the American Nursing Foundation to offer a $5000 scholarship to beginner and experienced nurse researchers for research designed to advance nursing science and enhance care. The application window for this award is February 1, 2020, to May 1, 2020.  Information can be found at  ANF 2019 Research Grants.

Together NASN and NBCSN will continue to promote NCSN as a sign of professionalism, leadership and as being an expert in school nursing.  NBCSN has developed tools you can use to promote your reasons for becoming nationally certified. PROMOTING THE MEANING AND VALUE OF NCSN CERTIFICATION. Additionally, as an NCSN you can advance school nurse practice by participating in and supporting research that analyzes school health data through the practice of an NCSN.   

Lynnette Ondeck
NASN Liaison to the NBCSN Board