2019 North Carolina School Nurse Conference

Participant check-in will be available on Wednesday, December 4, from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. and Thursday, December 5 from 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. The opening session will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, and the conference will end at 12:00 p.m. on Friday.


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Conference Check-In


Thursday, December 5, 2019

7:00 – 8:30 a.m.


7:30 - 8:30 a.m.

Conference Check-In

8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

Conference Introduction and Overview
Morning Keynote - Not if, but When. The Role of the School Nurse in Emergency Planning

April Weisedel MSN, RN

10:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Morning Break (Exhibits Open)

10:30 – Noon

Concurrent Sessions Round One

Noon – 1:30 p.m.

Lunch is served (Exhibits Open)

1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions Round Two

3:00– 3:30 p.m.

Afternoon Break (Exhibits Open)

3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions Round Three


Friday, December 6, 2019

7:00  – 8:00 a.m.


8:00 – 9:00 a.m.

General Session - Opportunities for School Nurses to Serve During Disasters

Phyllis M. Rocco MPH, BSN, RN
Carolyn Hemric MSN, RN, NCSN

9:00 – 9:15 a.m.

Collaborative Movement Break

9:15 – 10:15 a.m.

General Session - Breaking Down the Silos: Understanding the CDC's Shared Risk and Protective Factors Framework

Kim Dixon MSW
Ingrid Bou-Saada MA, MPH

10:15 – 10:45 a.m.

Break (Exhibits Open)

10:45 – 11:45 a.m.

General Session - Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Ann O. Nichols MSN, RN, NCSN

11:45 - Noon

Closing Remarks

Concurrent Session Choices and Description

You will be asked to make one choice for each of the three concurrent sessions during registration.

What is Healthy Out of School Time?

Ann O. Nichols MSN, RN, NCSN
Simmons-Wright M.Ed.
Michelle Dinnen-Owens BA Ed.
Susanne Schmal MPH

Many students in North Carolina spend a significant portion of their day in Out-of-School Time programs (OST). Students may attend before and after school care programs that are offered either on-school grounds or at a local YMCA or Boys and Girls Club. These programs offer tutoring, fine arts programs, academic enrichment, STEM clubs and athletic programs. While healthy environment expectations, structure and policies exist for the school day, this can be absent in the OST setting. Yet, healthy and safe practices in all areas of a student's day can affect the school day. Come discover how health and wellness of the students you serve during the school day and how we can extend the knowledge and skills of OST educators, working in the field, with strategies to manage chronic health conditions, infuse physical activity, healthy eating and social emotional learning into program time as to ensure that staff are acting as healthy role models with students. Offered in session one(1A).

Diabetes Round Table Talk: Enter to Learn...Leave to Lead

Phyllis Simmons RN, BSN, CDE, NCSN
Sharon Nichols RN, BSN, NCSN
Kerry Nail RN, BSN, NCSN
Crystal Francisco RN, BSN, NCSN
Miriam King, BSPH
Tracy Capozzoli, Parent

This round table diabetes presentation will begin with a brief overview of type 1 diabetes, current trends and treatment modalities. Round table discussion will be facilitated by school nurses, a school nurse certified diabetes educator, a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes and a health educator. The presentation will allow participants the opportunity to discuss "real life" situations and best practice problem solving guidelines. This diabetes presentation is also designed to help school nurses identify the importance of their own self-care and support strategies while managing the complicated world of diabetes in the school setting.  Offered in sessions one and two (1B, 2B).

How to Build Resiliency in School Aged Youth Using a Trauma Informed Approach

Stephanie Daniel PhD
Kim Morgan LPCS
Julie Peterson RN
Allison Marshall BSN, RN, NCSN
Shannon Taylor BSN, RN, NCSN

Seventy-one percent of all children are exposed to violence each year leading to a higher prevalence of trauma in the youth of today. The suicide rate for youth aged 10-17 has doubled over the last 10 years and the effects of trauma can remain quiet for many years. When youth display mental health concerns and need support, resources and care, those who work with them need the skills and support to enable healing. It is important that the school system and community respond with a trauma responsive lens, as supportive relationships and evidence-based practice are shown to heal the effects of trauma. Using a trauma-informed, team approach can mobilize nurses, social workers and teachers to effectively respond to the needs of the student. This presentation will take a closer look at trauma and its effects, discussing best practices and shedding light on how this lens can be used by school nurses to improve outcomes for those with mental health concerns.  Offered in sessions one and two (1C, 2C).

Using Data to Increase Immunization Rates

Kim Spaulding MSN, RN, NCSN
Jennifer Tuttle BSN, RN, NCSN
Krystal Morgan BSN, RN
Marianne Vogel BSN, RN, NCSN

One of the school health program outcomes for Catawba County Public Health is to ensure compliance with the NC Immunization requirements and protect the community from vaccine preventable illnesses. Last year geo-mapping was added as another component of the data analysis process to compare the 1st day secure rate across all schools in the county. By using data collected for the NC state immunization report, it was determined that county wide, the 1st day of school secure rates specifically for the middle schools met the target compliance goal of 85%. However, by using geo-mapping, we were able to see which schools in the county fell short of that goal and use that knowledge to develop appropriate quality improvement tools. Participants will leave encouraged to use data that is routinely collected to help implement more effective strategies. We want to share our lessons learned and hear from others about what has worked in their district. Offered in sessions one and three (1D, 3C).

Common Rashes in the School Aged Child: What School Nurses Need to Know

Andrea Biondi DNP, NNP, CPNP

Common skin rashes will be discussed in terms of red flags for identifying illnesses, history taking as well as treatment, follow up and when to refer to the Primary Care Provider or ER. Physical exam of rashes will be presented in a systematic approach by body systems. Offered in sessions one and two (1E, 2E).

Identify, Recruit, Train, Practice: The School Nurse's Role in the Emergency Response Team

April Weisedel MSN, RN

During an emergency, loss may be mitigated by utilization of a response team. Despite the evidence that supports this theory, there is sometimes resistance in creation of this team. Administrative buy-in, staff buy-in and precious time are all potential barriers. The Registered Nurse must take a proactive role in the formation of this team. Staff members must be recruited, trained and remain on the team. Practice drills must occur and the team must debrief and decide what, if any, revisions need to be made. Practice scenarios must be relevant. The nurse must stay abreast of national, state and local trends that could potentially affect the community served and create drills in response to those threats. Having a team that is ready, willing and able to respond is a MUST in this day and age. Participants will gain skills needed to implement this planning process and better understand their role in emergency response. Offered in sessions one and two (1F, 2F).

Emerging Research on Exposures that Worsen Asthma and Interventions and Resources to Improve Outcomes

Neasha Graves MPA
Megan E. Rodgers MEA

Asthma has been diagnosed in more than one million North Carolina residents, with outcomes particularly burdensome for children. Nearly one-quarter of children in this state miss one week of school each year and one-third reported having at least one asthma-related emergency department visit in a year. There are several common environmental exposures that exacerbate asthma, including secondhand smoke and other sources of air pollution, mold and cockroaches. During this session, presenters will share emerging research on e-cigarettes, as well as the effects of common environmental exposures like pests, air pollution, and mold upon asthma patients. The presentation will include evidence-based multi-step approaches recommended for removing or reducing those exposures to improve asthma outcomes and intervention tools and resources to help school nurses address poor asthma outcomes among children in the schools they serve. Presenters will engage with nurses to explore additional strategies for conveying asthma research and advice to school age children, parents, faculty and staff, to improve the environment in home and school settings. Offered in sessions one and two (1G, 2G).

Case Management and MTSS: How Does it Fit?

Donna Daughtry BSN, RN-C

School nurses oversee and provide health services for students over the full range of need from general population wellness services to case management services for students with complex chronic health conditions. Educators and other school staff do the same related to meeting the educational needs of students. Both acknowledge that health needs and education needs are inter-related but may not understand the important role of each discipline in the assurance of student success. Added to that, is the lack of common language to describe services that are provided. This session will present an overview of the revised North Carolina Standards Based Case Management Program that is being rolled out across the state, in which all school staff have a role. It will also describe the placement of health services within the Muti-tiered System of Support (MTSS) model that directs student support services in NC schools. Offered in sessions one and three (1H, 3E).

Evaluate Not Escalate a Mental Health Crisis

Barbara Akins RN, BSN, BC-PMHN, FCN
Debra Mack BSN, MSN-Edu, RN-BC-PMHN

Students can experience anxiety related to many causes including school transitions, history of trauma, bullying and drug use to name a few. This presentation will address ways to evaluate the situation and will include tools for use with children, adolescents, and teenagers experiencing a crisis or increased anxiety. The short-and long-term effects of bullying and the school nurse's role with bullying intervention will be addressed. Information will be shared to assist staff to recognize red flags that may indicate that a student has an emotional, behavioral, or mental health problem, possibly requiring professional attention. The topic of cultural diversity and strategies to implement with the crisis team will be introduced to aid in the development of safety nets and safe cultural environments where all participants learn together with dignity. Finally, we will review the Ten Components of Recovery and how these can be used every day to improve quality of life for the population served. Offered in session one (1I).

Successfully Handling Dental Problems and Trauma in School-Based Environments

Dr. Sharon P. Brown PhD, MPH, MN
Dr. Jessica Scott DHSc, RDH

School nurses play a significant role in a child's healthy growth and development; and, a child's good oral health is a critical component to their overall health. This allows not only for proper nutrition, but also a proper focus on their daily learning tasks. A healthy mouth is an indicator of overall good health, and a child ready to learn. The presence of dental decay is the most common chronic childhood condition; and is five times more prevalent than childhood asthma. The presence of early dental decay by age six is predictive of tooth decay into adulthood. This session will include information on prevention strategies that can be implemented by school nurses. It will also include strategies for the successful handling of dental trauma by school nurses. Offered in sessions one and three (1J, 3G).

Leadership and Quality Improvement

Cheryl Herberg MSN, RN, NCSN
Amy McAteer-Jones BSN, RN, NCSN
Amy Widderich BSN, RN, NCSN
Jennifer Sharpe BSN, RN, NCSN
Dana North BSN, RN, NCSN

Do you find yourself in situations that you want to change but you do not know where to start? Are you frustrated that you know how to make things better, but there is never enough time to implement your new procedure or plan? This session will explore the difference between being in charge and being a leader. Following Patricia Benner RN, PhD's philosophy of novice to expert, this session will explore an overview of leadership styles and the quality improvement process. Round table discussions in the leadership styles, quality improvement process of plan, do, study, act, and the importance of leadership in nursing will be facilitated by experienced school nurse leaders. The session will conclude with an opportunity for each group to develop their own improvement project, enabling the attendees to leave with the tools needed for innovative change and leadership in school nursing. Offered in sessions two and three (2A, 3A).

Planning for the Care of the Whole Student

Gerri Mattson MD
Rachel Zarcone MSW, LCSW
Diane Beth MS, RDN, LDN
Christy Moore, Family Liaison Specialist

In 2017-18, 17 percent of the student population in North Carolina received school nurse services related to chronic disease (North Carolina Annual School Health Services Report Brochure 2017-2018). The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model for coordinated school health is key to addressing the health and well-being of all students, the school, and the larger community. This session will look at the importance of integrating social-emotional/mental health, nutrition, and physical health when planning for the care of students with chronic conditions. These areas of health are interdependent for the success of a student in school and in life. The session will facilitate skill building by exploring strategies to assess whole student health while engaging students and families in creating goals and managing health in each of these areas in individual plans of care. There will be facilitated round table discussion about how the school and larger community can support students with chronic conditions. Offered in sessions two and three (2D, 3D).

What School Nurses Need to Know about Vector-borne Diseases

Elizabeth Hall Carver DNP, FNP, CNE

The CDC reports that incidence of vector-borne diseases has tripled in the U.S. since 2004 with nine new pathogens discovered or introduced in this time period. As reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, "the public health burden of tick-borne pathogens is considerably underestimated." As incidence and risks rise, with new invasive tick and mosquito species and exotic diseases such as Powassan, school nurses need to stay abreast of the latest information. Many vector-borne diseases share similar symptoms, and some require immediate medical treatment. This session will include information on how symptoms may differ between children and adults, special counseling for students and their families whether they are home in North Carolina or traveling in other parts of the U.S. or beyond our borders, and implications when symptoms emerge. Communications and messaging for students, families and others regarding risk, prevention and treatment will be included. Offered in sessions two and three (2H, 3H).

Recognizing the Indicators of Human Trafficking

Margaret Henderson MPA

Most of us are unaware of the indicators and dynamics of the sex and labor trafficking that exist in plain sight across our communities. Up to 88% of trafficking victims access health care during their trafficking situation. In this session, participants will learn the basics about sex and labor trafficking, consider which business models of trafficking they are most likely to see, and assess how their organizations might best respond to victims. Offered in sessions two and three (2I, 3I).

LGBTQ Youth: Affirming Health Policy in School Nursing to Build Resilience and Reduce Violence

Ames Simmons JD
Artie Hartsell MSW

This session explores topics in queer and trans adolescent health policy using North Carolina data from the 2017 CDC Youth Risk Behavior Study and 2017 GLSN National School Climate Survey. We will start with definitions and exploration of transgender and nonbinary gender identities, including building fluency with pronouns. We will address youth who face school-based violence, and the mental health ramifications for queer and trans adolescent health from a holistic, intersectional lens. We will then delve into mental health policy issues for adolescents, including stress and depression. We will present information related to suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth using a strengths-based approach. We end with strategies for resilience, lifting up youth-led organizations who center the people most affected by the work. We will close with steps that school nurses can take to affirm LGBTQ youth. Offered in sessions two and three (2J, 3J).

Pediatric Stroke: The Critical Role of the School Nurse in Awareness and Post-Stroke Management

Michelle Ballasiotes, Senior in the BSPH, Health Policy and Management program at UNC-CH; Pediatric stroke survivor
Nicole Burnett BSN, RN, CNRN, SCRN, CCRN-K
Mary Kay Ballasiotes, Executive Director of the International Alliance for Pediatric Stroke; mother of pediatric stroke survivor
Shelley Dean OTR/L

Although stroke is as common as brain tumors in children and is one of the top ten causes of death in children ages 1-19 a lack of knowledge exists amongst health care professionals that stroke can happen at any age (International Alliance for Pediatric Stroke, 2014). In the event that a student exhibits new stroke symptoms, it is critical for the school nurse to suspect stroke and assist the child with getting help immediately. After a stroke, rehabilitation is the key to help with long-term outcomes and rehabilitation needs may change as children grow and develop (Aucutt-Walter et al., n.d.). Children may also require assistive devices, equipment and medications that the school nurse should be aware of (Aucutt-Walter et al., n.d.). For this roundtable session, the large group topic discussion will include an overview of pediatric stroke, including the definitions, symptom recognitions, outcomes, and the most common permanent post-stroke neurological deficits that may be seen by the school nurse. The small group roundtable discussions will be facilitated by a pediatric stroke survivor, parent of a pediatric stroke survivor, occupational therapist specializing in stroke rehabilitation, and a stroke nurse. These topics will include case studies, post-stroke social and academic barriers, and the school nurse's role in management and advocacy. Offered in session three (3B).

More Than Smoke and Mirrors - Tobacco, Nicotine, Flavors....and What Else?

Mary Gillett MS

From Joe Camel to JUUL, public health has been chasing tobacco products used by teens for more than a half century. While there has been a great deal of success, the new products on the market have provided a unique challenge as true "drug delivery devices" that are offering a previously unheard of high dose of nicotine and capacity to include other substances with little chance of detection. Get a feel for what is out there, how it appeals to mainstream and lower-risk teens as well as how the addictive properties differ from the tobacco products of yesteryear. From the addictive properties of nicotine, the advertising and marketing and ways to conceal it from adults, it seems everything old is new again! Offered in session three (3F).

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