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School Nursing and Health - School Nurse Basics
Welcome to School Nursing in Colorado!
This webpage is designed to give school nurses an overview of foundational resources used in Colorado School Nursing Practice.
Tips to Help You Get Started:
- Bookmark the School Nursing and Health Home Page for quick reference.
- Join the School Nurse Listserv - This is how important information on trainings and updates in school nursing are emailed to Colorado School Nurses.
- View Trainings for New School Nurses and join our new school nurse training notification list (this is in addition to the listserv and is only for new school nurses). We provide trainings throughout the year for new school nurses and an annual School Nurse Orientation in July and an an On-Demand Introduction to Colorado School Nursing online course to help you get started.
- Download the Resources for Getting Started below.
- Review CDE Special Service Provider Licensure information below.
- Sign up for CIIS (Colorado Immunization Information System) to access immunization records.
- View the Medication Administration Training information and register to become at trainer by joining the CCHC Hub to access forms.
- Contact a CDE School Nurse Specialist for any questions! We are here to help!
Resources for Getting Started
Following are a collection of key documents and links to content found throughout the School Nursing and Health website for quick reference.
Colorado Guidance Documents
- Colorado Medication Administration Guidelines (Aug 2019 PDF)
- Infectious Disease in Child Care and Schools Guidelines (CDPHE)
- Colorado Emergency Guidelines for Schools (2022 PDF)
- Vision Screening Guidelines: K-12 (Jan 2016 PDF)
- Hearing Screening Guidelines (June 2017 PDF)
- How Sick is Too Sick - English | Spanish (CDPHE)
Important Links to Explore
- Individualized Health Care Plans
- Special Education/ IEPs/ 504s
- Data Reporting
- Training Tools, including Nursing Procedures
- Mandatory Reporting/ Child Protection
- Child Care Health Consultation - if you service preschools or child care
- Student Health Services Fact Sheet
- Recommended First Aid Equipment and Supplies for Schools (page 69 of Emergency Guidelines for Schools)
- Essential School Health Services (2022 PDF) - identifies which services are mandated
- Rules and Regulations Governing Schools in the State of Colorado (6 CCR 1010-6)
- Colorado Rules for Administration of Medications (1 CCR-301 68)
- Colorado Nurse Practice Act / DORA (Exiting CDE)
- Chapter 13 - Rules and Regulations Regarding the Delegation of Nursing Tasks (3 CCR 716-1, start on page 81)
- CPR requirements
Initial Special Service Provider (SSP) License
New school nurses must apply with the Colorado Department of Education for an Initial Special Service Provider License. Registered Nurses (BSN or ADN) with an active RN license may apply.
Why do I need a Special Service Provider License from CDE if I already hold a Registered Nurse License through DORA?
School nurse services are services provided by a qualified school nurse. Per the Exceptional Children's Educational Act (ECEA) Rules March 2016, 1 CCR 301-8, 2.37(3)(m), all related services personnel providing services to children with disabilities shall hold Colorado special services licenses or certificates with appropriate endorsements.
How do I apply for a Special Service Provider License?
- Requirements for Special Service Provider Endorsement as a School Nurse - NOTE: The "program" that is referred to is nursing school for the registered nurse.
- Application Process for Special Service Provider License
- CDE Licensing Office home page
- Email CDELicensing@cde.state.co.us for questions about licensure requirements
Advancing from Initial SSP license to Professional SSP license
The Initial SSP license expires in 3 years; prior to expiration, the school nurse will need to apply for a Professional SSP license. To advance from an Initial SSP license to a Professional SSP license, you will need a certificate verifying completion of an induction program specific to the license you wish to advance (ie, Special Service Provider with School Nurse endorsement). Induction programs are provided by your school (public, private or charter), Charter School Institute, or BOCES. The induction program includes mentoring.
- Public School Districts: School nurses should work with their supervisor or district “Induction Coordinator” to locate a school nurse mentor.
- Charter Schools Under the Authority of a Public School District: Charter schools under the authority of a school district should work with their supervisor or district “Induction Coordinator” to locate a school nurse mentor.
- Charter Schools under the Authority of Charter School Institute (CSI): Charter schools under the authority of CSI should contact CSI to locate a school nurse mentor.
- Private Schools: Private schools that offer a CDE approved induction program can also provide a school nurse mentor.
CDE Mentor Program Sample Documents - these forms are provided as samples and are not required
- Educator Effectiveness - State Model Evaluation System for Special Service Providers
- Code of Ethics for Nursing Practice (Available for Purchase from ANA)
- Standards of School Nursing Practice (For purchase from NASN)
- Colorado Nurse Practice Act (Exiting CDE)
- Colorado Educator Licensing Act of 1991 CCR 301-37 (Exiting CDE)
- Rules for the Administration of Educator License Endorsements 1 CCR 301-101 (Exiting CDE)
- Colorado Registered Nurse Licensure: Colorado Board of Nursing (Exiting CDE)
- Optional Certification: National Board for Certification of School Nurses Nationally Certified School Nurse (NCSN)