Episode 6 - School nurses working on the frontlines of school health and safety w/ Robin Cogan

53m | Sep 21, 2023

School nurses and school health and safety are intertwined and yet often misunderstood. The role that nurses play in the school environment varies across states and districts - although far too many schools and districts have no or too few school nurses. Feeling safe is fundamental for students to be able to learn and for teachers and others to help students learn. Unfortunately, school nurses are often not included in conversations about school safety despite their being on the front lines of students’ lives.

Ensuring safety in school requires attention to a wide range of needs including supporting student physical and mental health and reducing risk of harm at school. Including school nurses proactively in health and safety discussions, utilizing their knowledge and experience, could make a big difference for students and adults in a school setting. School nurses can help guide discussions and provide ideas for healthier and safer schools.

Robin Cogan is currently in her 23rd year as a New Jersey school nurse in the Camden City School District. Robin is the New Jersey Director for the National Association of School Nurses representing the New Jersey State School Nurses Association. She teaches at the Rutgers University School Nursing in the School Nurses Certificate program. She writes and speaks about school nursing, with a focus on the role school nurses play in school health and safety.

In her work Robin highlights the toll many aspects of our lives have on student and adult mental health in the school environment. From pandemic changes to bullying, from tired and hungry students to frightening drills at school, along with many other stressors, Robin advocates for strategies to make schools safer by reducing risks. She also promotes learning about how brains work and how they process stress and emotions so that students of all ages and the adults who work with them can learn strategies and skills to better manage difficult times that we all face at some time in our lives.

@RobinCogan - Twitter (aka X)

The Relentless School Nurse - Facebook

Relentless_schoolnurse - Instagram


The work of Dr. Sean Ginwright - Healing Centered Engagement

The work of Dr. Wendy Ellis - A Pair of ACEs - Resilience Tree

Elevating the Role of School Nurses in School Based Mental and Behavioral Health

Child Mind Institute

Mental Health Training Intervention for Health Providers in Schools (MH-TIPS)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

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Mental Health Goes to School