You are the school nurse in a small, diverse community

The Need for Mental Health Services and Care for Students

You are the school nurse in a small, diverse community where you are responsible for the oversight of three schools: Alpha Elementary School (ages 6-10), Beta Middle School (ages 11-13), and Gamma High School (ages 14-17). The entire student body for all three schools is approximately 375 students evenly dispersed between the three schools. About 30% of the student body are Hispanic or Asian and do not speak English at home; English is not their primary language. No two schools are closer than 5-10 miles apart. One month ago, there was a mass shooting at the local mall where many of the students were present.

Several students from all three schools have had a death of a close family member or friend due to the current pandemic or mall shooting. This year, parents, teachers, and administrators at all three schools reported to the school nurse that many students show signs of PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder). Teachers and staff report that while many students act out, other students have become very withdrawn; two middle school students committed suicide this past weekend. There has been an increased use of vaping, marijuana use, and alcohol consumption at the high school. Two high school girls were found cutting in the gym locker room.

The principals at all three schools have asked you to present an age-appropriate plan to address the mental health issues and develop an emergency/evacuation plan for their school. Currently, there are no students who use wheelchairs at any of the schools; however, you should assume there are students at each school with ADD or ADHD, Tourette’s syndrome, or have a history of epileptic seizures. Two middle school students and several high school students are in their second or third trimester of pregnancy. There is one high school student on a continuous insulin pump. Use your prior nursing experience, creativity, and critical thinking skills to complete the signature assignment successfully.


• Select one of the following to complete your assignment: the elementary, middle, or high school

• Select members for your planning committee and include a rationale for your committee selection from a current scholarly source

• Present the developmental stages of your selected age group • Identify signs and symptoms of PTSD for children in your selected age group

• Develop an age-appropriate plan to address the mental health issues being reported by the school administrators, teachers, and staff. (Do not omit to address students who may not be currently showing signs of depression, stress, or anxiety)

• Develop and propose an emergency/evacuation plan for your selected school. Include the roles of the principal, vice-principal, counselors, teachers, and staff and what your specific role as the school nurse or a person you designate will be.

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