The Outreach Committee has expanded our circle of NCSN State Liaisons. We have a wonderful group of NCSN ambassadors sharing the importance of national certification with our colleagues across the country. Interest in certification is rising rapidly.  We appreciate every NCSN because of your pride and enthusiasm, this designation is recognized as the gold standard of practice. 

Over the last few newsletters, the Outreach Committee has spotlighted our fellow board members and what prompted them to seek national certification! This edition features the President-elect of NBCSN, Dr. Robin Shannon-Adair. You will recognize Robin’s name from the 3rd Edition of School Nursing: A Comprehensive Text (2019) as one of the co-editors! 

Dear NCSN Friends,

Long ago, I was an adult acute care nurse and thought that school nursing would be a much better schedule for my growing family (Yes). I also thought – kids are like little adults and school nursing had to be easier than the ICU, right? HA! NOT!  Needless to say, I was completely overwhelmed from day one, realizing that I had no idea what I was doing (all by myself). I didn’t even know what I didn’t know! Sound familiar?

But I fell in love with caring for my students and school community, a space that is extremely challenging AND endlessly interesting. So I promptly set out to learn the knowledge and skills I needed to practice in this autonomous role. After several years of school nursing experience, an Illinois School Nurse Certification, and an MSN in School Nursing –I wanted to advance my practice and further my career by getting nationally certified in school nursing (NCSN). To study, I read School Nursing: A Comprehensive Text, 1st ed. (2005). And let me tell you – it was packed with stuff I didn’t know I didn’t know, but that all school nurses should know!  Thanks Janice Selekman and NASN!  The exam wasn’t easy – but I passed! Shew!  

Being an NCSN led to being hired as a school nurse supervisor and so many more opportunities over the years. Still interested in what I didn’t know – I was inspired to get my DNP in population health and teach school nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing. I even got to co-edit the 3rd edition of School Nursing: A Comprehensive Text (2019) with Janice and Cathy Yonkaitis. Believe me, my brain nearly exploded on a daily basis with all the stuff I didn’t know I didn’t know! We are proud that the Comprehensive Text is still the go-to reference for practice and for the NCSN exam.

And now I have the distinct privilege of serving as co-chair of the examination committee and president elect on the National Board for Certification of School Nurses. We strive to uplift the practice of school nursing through this mark of distinction – the NCSN. Please consider volunteering with NBCSN – we need subject matter experts to help with the exam and members at large to serve on committees. Maybe you would like to serve on NBCSN too? See .  There is much work to be done.

NCSNs are life-long learners and school nurse leaders. Becoming a nationally certified school nurse is not an end goal – it’s a catalyst to unlimited opportunities to improve the health of our Nation’s children, youth, and school communities. If you haven’t already, I challenge you to pay it forward for the kids by mentoring a shining star school nurse to become an NCSN! You’ll be glad you did! 

Thank you for all you do for so many.

Robin Adair Shannon, RN, DNP, NCSN, PHNA-BC, FNASN