Wellness is a term that school nurses and clinicians across areas use frequently. It is something that we try to facilitate for our students and the broader school community. What does wellness really mean? To shed light on this pivotal concept, a research team recently conducted a rigorous concept analysis. Dr. Patricia Endsley, NCSN, member of the research team shared, “My research team at the University of Missouri sought to dig deep as to what wellness in the school setting really was. As the NCSN on the team I was able to add context to real life student exemplars of student wellness.”  

The report of their findings, currently available online ahead of print in the Journal of School Nursing, provides an interesting history on wellness in schools, and proposes defining attributes of wellness based on an extensive search. Defining attributes include: healthy habits, balanced nutrition, physical activity, weight management, adequate sleep, stress reduction, social support, conscientiousness, and an optimum state of health. 

The article also showcases illustrative case examples, which as Dr. Endsley notes, “ illustrate wellness challenges school nurses face every day. As the NCSN, I was also able to tie in the 21st Century School Nurse perspective. NCSNs are valuable partners in school research teams as they provide the context necessary include the school nurse in the mullti-disciplnary team.” 

Skarbek, A., Endsley, P., Chrisman, M. S., Hastert, M., & Stellwagen, C. (In Press). Exploring Wellness Through Concept Analysis. The Journal of School Nursing, 10598405231165510

Brenna Morse, PhD, RN, NCSN, CNE

Exam Development Chair