The Outreach Committee continues to expand our NCSN State Liaison Program and recently hosted a virtual Town Hall to promote connection and offer support during these difficult times. NCSNs are our greatest resources and ambassadors for promoting the importance of certification. Clearly the pandemic has raised the profile of school nurses, so what an opportunity to discuss national certification! Remember to use your credentials in your email signature line, and spell out Nationally Certified School Nurse, so that more people know what NCSN stands for.

In an effort to learn more about our board members, Lori Anderson and I have shared our journey to certification. This month we have invited NBCSN President, Brenna Morse, to give us a glimpse of her certification story!

“I took the NCSN exam in August of 2014, after working as a school nurse for about three years. I sort of fell into school nursing which, given limited opportunities for exposure to the specialty across nursing programs, seems like a common method of entry for many of us! What started as a two-week fill in for a school nurse heading out for orthopedic surgery evolved to full-time summer camp coverage then the office role and later nurse leader. After a few weeks in the office role, I became a school nurse fanatic. How could more people not know about this incredible role where a nurse can truly work to their full scope of practice and education addressing clinical matters and promoting health? At this time, I joined NASN, read the Comprehensive Text cover-to-cover, started networking with school nurses in my area and decided that once eligible, I would sit for the NCSN exam. Having the national exam as a goal helped me stay motivated to think of school health problems outside of my relatively small school and district which was helpful for developing creative solutions and practices to benefit my school community. Thinking about becoming certified also made me feel like I could use my expertise and credential for good to address school health problems on a larger scale- I do not think it takes a credential to be able to change practice and policy and motivate health; however, demonstrating our competence and commitment to school health through certification can certainly open doors, add a seat for us to the decision-making table, and expand our professional network of like-minded school health caregivers. Whether NCSNs have certified to accomplish a personal goal, in accordance with state policy, or perhaps to step up on a salary scale, I am proud of all NCSNs for pursuing this special mark of distinction in school health and am honored to work together as a certified group nationally to promote the value of school nursing across the US.” 

– Brenna Morse, PhD, RN, NCSN, CNE, PMGT-BC