Registered professional school nurses are uniquely positioned at the intersection of student health and education; they are trained to understand the complexity of the relationship between physical and mental wellbeing and academic achievement. The National Association of School Nurses has issued a position statement that the school nurse is an “essential member of the school health team to address student concussions.” While there are various models in use in schools across the country for managing a student’s return to school after mild brain injury—from no formal process to assembling a comprehensive concussion management team—leadership within the school is critical to ensuring that post‑concussion accommodations and clinical care instructions are followed at school. School nurses are uniquely situated to provide that leadership.
As a school-based healthcare professional, the school nurse is likely to be the school staff member with the most comprehensive knowledge of mild brain injury. They are, therefore, best equipped to educate teachers, administration, students, and families about the signs and symptoms of mild brain injury and how to manage a student’s reentry to academics and physical activity. School nurses can also provide leadership by communicating with health care providers about a student’s management plan, necessary academic accommodations, and progress. This fact sheet outlines how, as a school-based healthcare professional, the school nurse is likely to be the school staff member with the most comprehensive knowledge of mild brain injury.