Policy briefing

RCN toolkit for school nurses

Read our policy briefing on an updated school nursing toolkit from the RCN.

Read our policy briefing on an updated school nursing toolkit from the RCN

Essential facts

School nurses or specialist community public health nurses (SCPHNs) are qualified nurses or midwives with specialist graduate-level education in community health and the health needs of school-age children and young people.

School nurses were employed within NHS community services from 1974. Since then the role has become more autonomous, with such nurses leading public health initiatives for school-age children and working in schools and the community, according to the RCN.

In 2004 the Nursing and Midwifery Council approved standards for registration in specialist community public health nursing across the UK.

The four nations of the UK have different policies relating to school health provision, but school nurses deliver the Healthy Child Programme (HCP) for those aged 5–19 in England and equivalent programmes in Scotland, Northern


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