Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Debra Hampton

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Kathy Hager

Committee Member

Dr. Carolyn Williams


Background: School attendance has a significant impact on student achievement. In early grades, students who miss 10% or more of school are considered chronically absent and at risk to be behind in reading. High school students with similar attendance patterns are less likely to enroll and stay in college after graduation. Evidence shows that the presence of school nurses can result in improved school attendance.
Purpose: The purpose of this pilot project was to implement a targeted school nurse intervention at an elementary, middle and high school in Jefferson County. The intervention included assessment by a registered nurse for children who were sick or hurt prior to school dismissal, care coordination for children with chronic illnesses and collection of data regarding identified themes surrounding absenteeism.

Results: There was no significant change in the number of overall missed school days but results indicated a statistically significant difference in absence rates for students with chronic health conditions when a registered nurse was present during the school day.

Conclusion: Care coordination by registered nurses at school can help decrease absenteeism in children with health care needs.