School Nurses and IPM: Working Together to Improve Student Health
By Alina Freund, Community IPM Manager, IPM Institute of North America
August 16, 2016
School nurses are on the front lines creating a healthy school environment. In their day-to-day work, school nurses deal with head lice, cockroaches, bed bugs, or insect bites and sometimes even with allergies or chemical burns caused by sanitizers or cleaners.
Once introduced to IPM concepts, school nurses are natural champions for IPM in schools, according to Margaret Cellucci, the Director of Communications for the National Association of School Nurses (NASN). Last week Margaret joined the monthly call of the School IPM Working Group’s steering committee to share information about NASN, a non-profit working to optimize student health.
Reducing risk and increasing health and safety is at the core of NASN’s work – and is the essence of IPM – making school nurses a key audience for the Stop School Pests project led by the IPM Institute of North America, universities, extensions, non-profit and other organizations.
Stop School Pests is a training program for everyone working in schools and includes a specific module for school nurses. To give school nurses practical tools, the module focuses on how to include IPM practices in their work. The module, reviewed and tested by school nurses, includes the latest research in the field and will be available soon to all K-12 schools in the country.
Better sharing of existing resources is a part of the core mission of the School IPM Working Group, and going forward we will be sharing tools and training materials with NASN – for healthier students and safer schools for all.