NAPNAP, NASN Team up to Address Needs for Children with ADHD
Communication is key between school nurses, pediatric-focused APRNs.
NEW YORK, Feb. 10, 2016 – The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) support a call for interprofessional collaboration between pediatric-focused APRNs and school nurses to help meet the medical and academic needs of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. (ADHD). The article, “PNPs and School Nurses: Meeting the Complex Medical and Academic Needs of the Child With ADHD,” was published in the in the January/February 2016 issue of the Journal for Pediatric Health Care.
Today ADHD is the most common neurobehavioral conditions in youths, with 11 percent of school-age children diagnosed by their pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) or other health care providers. APRNs are among the primary care leaders in managing the care of children with ADHD. The article states that a 2002-2003 national survey of mental health in school estimates that school nurses spent about one-third of their time providing mental health services.
“We value our school nurse partners and together we are on the front lines of diagnosing and treating children with ADHD,” said NAPNAP President Cathy Haut, DNP, CPNP-AC, CPNP-PC, CCRN. “Sharing information can help us provide the best possible care to our patients with complex medical, educational and mental health needs. Good communication among providers also benefits the child by protecting them within the social context of school.”
The school environment plays a crucial role in influencing the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents. School-based health needs for children with ADHD may include medication administration, assessment for treatment efficacy, identification of adverse effects and monitoring for other mental health concerns.
“School nurses are the bridge connecting health and learning and provide care coordination for students diagnosed with ADHD to optimize learning. Effective communication and collaboration among school nurses and pediatric-focused APRNs enable student-centered care and solutions,” said Beth Mattey, MSN, RN, NCSN, President of the National Association of School Nurses.
According to the article, one barrier of communication between pediatric-focused APRNs and school nurses is that parents may not understand that they must complete required release of school information forms in order for these school nurses to share essential information with other providers to better serve children. Once there is an established line of communication, school nurses can compile information from teachers, school psychologists, guidance counselors and other school personnel and then communicate directly with the pediatric-focused APRN on treatment efficacy and progress.
Additionally, pediatric-focused APRNs can better understand the in-school issues to make necessary modifications to the student’s medications or treatment plan. These modifications are then shared with school nurses. When possible, the pediatric-focused APRN may prescribe long-acting medication to help reduce the risk of stigmatizing a child who must go to the school nurse for behavioral medications. Some short-acting ADHD medication must be administered during the school day in order to maintain effectiveness throughout the day.
Once a child has been diagnosed with ADHD, NAPNAP and NASN encourage parents to meet with the school staff to review the planned medical/behavioral treatment, discuss appropriate learning and behavioral accommodations and provide medications that are to be dispensed during school hours.
“Our goal is to ensure that children with ADHD are given the necessary resources they need to succeed in school and beyond,” said Dr. Haut.
The January/February edition of Journal of Pediatric Health Care can be accessed at www.jpedhc.org. NAPNAP’s mental health resources can be viewed at https://www.napnap.org/mental-health-facts.
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About the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) is the nation’s only professional association for pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) dedicated to improving the quality of health care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults. Representing more than 8,000 healthcare practitioners with 17 special interest groups and 49 chapters, NAPNAP has been advocating for children’s health since 1973 and was the first APRN society in the U.S. Our mission is to empower pediatric-focused APRNs and their interprofessional partners to enhance child and family health through leadership, advocacy, professional practice, education and research. www.NAPNAP.org
About the National Association of School Nurses
The National Association of School Nurses is a nonprofit specialty nursing organization, organized in 1968 and incorporated in 1977, representing school nurses exclusively. NASN has nearly 16,000 members and 50 affiliates, including the District of Columbia and overseas. The mission of NASN is to optimize student health and learning by advancing the practice of school nursing. To learn more about NASN, please visit us on the Web at www.nasn.org or call 866-627-6767.