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Standard 1 Aspect B

4b. The program seeks to meet state and local workplace needs and to diversify participation in the educator workforce through candidate recruitment and support


The SNSC Program seeks to reduce disparities whenever possible by promoting the visibility of school nursing as a professional option and through legislative advocacy that impacts the health and wellness of our students and schools.

Recruitment and Support
School Nurse program candidates must be registered nurses in the State of California and most have hospital or public health setting experience. To apply for the school nurse credential program, nurses must hold a bachelor's degree from an approved University program and be employed as a school nurse in a school district, charter or private school.  School nurse candidates work on a preliminary credential and the SNSC program is the final step to complete their clear credential as required by the State of California.   Therefore, the demographics of SNSC program candidates is dependent on the hiring practices of school districts and the demographics of that specific district.  

To improve the visibility of school nursing as a professional option, SNSC program coordinators work closely with faculty of the Fresno State School of Nursing and, when possible, meet with Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students before graduation to give them insight into the school nurse role.  BSN students taking Community Health observe school nurses in action in local district schools. Additionally, a School Nurse Services Credential brochure was developed for potential candidates to improve visibility.   

Fresno State recently highlighted the SNSC program in the Biannual ACCESS MAGAZINE published by the Continuing and Global Education and many prior school nurses have been honored by the University for the annual Fresno State Nursing Hall of Fame Award.  

In addition, SNSC program coordinators and faculty are involved in the California School Nurse Organization (CSNO) in past and current California state level leadership positions and attend and present at California State CSNO conferences.  In conjunction with CSNO, SNSC Faculty assist and support legislative proposals that impact school health areas.

Demographic Data of Recent Graduates
The SNSC does not collect demographics of candidates, however, the California Commission of Teacher Credentialing collects demographics at application for the final credential.  The data show that our candidates are reflective of the greater diversity of California, as noted in the CCTC Data by county. Not all graduates responded to the survey, so data is incomplete. Some marked more than one box so the survey is not reflective of total numbers enrolled in the program. 

California Commission of Teacher Credentialing Data of CSU Fresno SNSC Completers

Enrollment Total of survey participants
(Reported to CCTC)
  2018
N=38
2019
N=45
2020
Not Available
African American   2 2  
American Indian or Alaska Native   3 0  
Asian   4 5  
Filipino   9 10  
Hispanic or Latino   8 9  
Pacific Islander   0 0  
White   20 24  
2+ Races   0 0  
Not Reported   12 6  

2020-2021 Regional K-12 Enrollment Data by County 

County: Fresno Madera Tulare Kings STATE
Total 205,480 31,494 103,592 29,284 6,002,523
African American 4.7% 1.2% 1.0% 3.3% 5.2%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0.6% 1.0% 0.7% 1.0% 0.5%
Asian 9.5% 1.5% 2.0% 1.0% 9.5%
Filipino 0.8% 0.2% 0.7% 1.6% 2.4%
Hispanic or Latino 65.8% 75.6% 78.2% 71.3% 55.3%
Pacific Islander 0.2% 0.1% 0.2% 0.2% 0.4%
White 15.9% 18.2% 14.5% 18.1% 21.7%
2+ Races 2.2% 1.6% 1.4% 3.3% 4.1%
Not Reported 0.4% 0.7% 1.3% 0.2% 0.9%

(source: CDE DataQuest)

The SNSC program supports candidates from diverse backgrounds
The School Nurse Services Credential program is an online program and all candidates admitted to the program are supported equally.  Demographics are not collected on applicants at any time in the program.  GPA is a minimum 3.00 to allow for more diversity in applications.  All candidates have access to coordinator contact information via email or direct phone consultation.

The majority of our candidates work full time.  The program is flexible enough that if a candidate is experiencing family or medical hardship the coordinators and faculty work with the candidates to meet deadlines. 

Scholarships
The SNSC is not a graduate program, and as a post-baccalaureate credential-only program, candidates are not eligible for tuition grants or scholarships through the university.  This is a hardship for many candidates as moving from the hospital setting to the school setting is a significant cut in pay.

However, The SNSC program provides information to candidates about available California School Nurse Organization and National Association of School Nursing (CSNO/NASN) Scholarships. 

SNOCF-School Nurse of California Foundation Grant funds projects and programs which improve the well-being of California students and school communities.

Professional Development
An alignment with the California School Nurse Organization provides professional development opportunities for school nurses. Candidates can access in-services as part of the practicum experience and the California State School Nurse Conference is a forum for professional networking, collaboration and insight into the school nurse role.

Legislative advocacy
The purpose of CSNO legislative advocacy is twofold: to promote the practice of the profession of the California Credentialed School Nurse, and to promote safe care at school for the children of California. CSNO advocacy efforts focus on training, providing guidance, and encouraging the individual school nurse to work at a grassroots level for the above purposes.

The CSNO Government Relations Committee (GRC) works closely with a Legislative Advocate to monitor legislation introduced in the California Legislature. The committee focuses solely on legislative issues with the potential to significantly affect the practice of school nursing in California as well as the health and welfare of the students we serve. Bill positions are taken on behalf of CSNO by the GRC and are guided by CSNO’s Board-approved Legislative Platform.

An example of a recent legislative push is AB 130, which passed in June 2021.  This bill contains funding for a School Nurse Consultant and Office of School Based Health which will promote alignment and collaboration between the California Department of Education and California school systems.  Fresno State SNSC Program coordinators and candidates wrote letters to promote this bill as a component of a legislative assignment in Nursing 185.  An example of an advocacy letter from a previous SNSC candidate is linked.

Program coordinators seek to improve diversity in school nursing by improving the visibility of school nurses, inviting student nurses into schools to demonstrate that school nursing is an important clinical option, and advocating for better school nurse/student ratios with professional organizations through legislation.  The California Department of Education mandates school nurse services be available but not that each school have a school nurse.  Although the National Association of School Nurses recommends a school nurse in every school, in California, the reality is closer to one school nurse for every 3-4 schools.  AB 130, which contained the Education Omnibus bill and was signed by the California Governor  included funding for a School Nurse Consultant with the California Department of Education and Office of School Based Health, so there is hope that school nurse ratios can be changed.

Summary of Findings 4b
The SNSC program seeks to meet state and local workplace needs and to diversify participation in the educator workforce through candidate recruitment and support.  In addition, we try to reduce disparities whenever possible by promoting the visibility of school nursing as a professional option and through legislative advocacy that impacts the health and wellness of our students and schools.  A lack of financial assistance for SNSC candidates is a concern and it is hoped that in the future funding for candidates in California credential programs will be approved.  Our program continues to participate in legislative advocacy towards legislation to improve school nurse/student ratios, improved health and wellness in schools and funding for professional growth/credential programs/education.

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