Newswise — PHILADELPHIA (June 24, 2020) – Sudden school closures in the United States were undertaken to reduce COVID-19 transmission this spring. Those closures were not typical, and how and when schools reopen will create a set of new norms, with unique stressors for students, families, school personnel, and communities.

The challenges of reopening are not easy, and there will be a need to maintain systematic quality control in the face of prescribed approaches changing rapidly. In an editorial in The Journal of School Nursing, Catherine C. McDonald, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) and a Senior Fellow with the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, addresses a number of challenges that will likely need to be met and how school nurses are positioned to keep children healthy, safe, and ready to learn.

“There is hope that in fall 2020, schools will be well on their way to reopening. No matter the scenario, we know that school nurses will be ready to lead in the steps to keep their schools healthy,” writes McDonald. “School nurses will take on COVID-19 specific roles in advising, planning, and implementation. They are key to student health, safety, and success, and at this time, their role could not be more important.”

The editorial, “Reopening Schools in the Time of Pandemic: Look to the School Nurses,” has been published online first and is set for publication in the upcoming August issue as well. 


About the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing is one of the world’s leading schools of nursing. For the fifth year in a row, it is ranked the #1 nursing school in the world by QS University and is consistently ranked highly in the U.S. News & World Report annual list of best graduate schools. Penn Nursing is currently ranked # 1 in funding from the National Institutes of Health, among other schools of nursing, for the third consecutive year. Penn Nursing prepares nurse scientists and nurse leaders to meet the health needs of a global society through innovation in research, education, and practice. Follow Penn Nursing on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, & Instagram.  

Journal Link: The Journal of School Nursing