School nurses

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Information about primary school nursing and secondary school nursing.

The purpose of the School Nursing Program Guidelines is to inform and support the professional practice of the Victorian School Nursing Program to achieve successful health and educational outcomes for school students. The Guidelines support the nursing workforce and regional supervisors and leaders in providing consistent and best practice, together with the Health Wellbeing and Inclusion Workforces Practice Model.

For information about the program guidelines, see:

Primary school nursing

The Primary school nursing program (PSNP) is a free service offered to all children attending primary schools and English Language Centre schools in Victoria.

Primary school nurses visit schools throughout the year to provide children with:

  • the opportunity to have a health assessment
  • information and advice about healthy behaviours
  • and link children and families to community-based health and wellbeing services.

The PSNP is designed to identify children with potential health-related learning difficulties and to respond to parent/carer concerns and observations about their child's health and wellbeing.

Parents or carers complete the School Entrant Health Questionnaire (SEHQ) which is distributed during the first year of school. With parent/carer consent, follow-up health assessments are conducted by the school nurse as indicated.

Other activities offered by the program may include formal and informal health education and health promotion to the school community.

For more information about the PSNP, see:

Secondary school nursing

The Secondary school nursing program (SSNP) aims to reduce risk to young people and promote better health in the wider community. Approximately two thirds of government secondary schools participate in the SSNP with the program targeted to Victoria’s most disadvantaged schools.

The goals of the SSNP are to:

  • play a key role in reducing negative health outcomes and risk taking behaviours among young people, including drug and alcohol abuse, tobacco smoking, eating disorders, obesity, depression, suicide and injuries
  • focus on prevention of ill health and problem behaviours by ensuring coordination between the school and community based health and support services
  • support the school community in addressing contemporary health and social issues facing young people and their families
  • provide appropriate primary health care through professional clinical nursing, including assessment, care, referral and support
  • establish collaborative working relationships between primary and secondary school nurses to assist young people in their transition to secondary school.

Secondary school nurses are employed through regional offices of the Department, with most nurses allocated to two secondary schools.