School Nursing

The Relentless School Nurse: Lessons From Our #SchoolNurseChat on Twitter!

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Great ideas can start with one Tweet! April 28, 2018, Tonja Frank, aka School Nurse T sent this tweet asking “Who wants to have a #schoolnursechat? Let’s share our experiences. Who’s in?” It was a tweet heard through the Twittersphere and before we knew it, the #SchoolNurseChat was born. The original pioneers with me in this adventure were Tonja, Lisa Kern, and Chris Amidon, all colleagues who connected through the magic of social media.

Twitter chat is a public Twitter conversation linked together by using a unique hashtag (#). Ours is #SchoolNurseChat. This hashtag allows you to follow the discussion and participate in the fast-paced virtual conversation. Hashtags are also used to search for topics. The @ sign is used on Twitter to identify individual names or organizations. For example, my Twitter handle (name in Twitter-speak) is @RobinCogan.

There are no hard and fast rules about Twitter chats. It is best to use the unique hashtag, ours is #SchoolNurseChat so that it is easier to follow a conversation. The Twitter chat host may post numbered questions using Q:1 and participants can respond with numbered answers corresponding to the question using A:1 so that it is easier to identify specific threads of conversations.

To date, we have had four Twitter chats since last Spring, with the most recent one being this past Monday evening. Each one has been an informal gathering of school nurses from across the country eager to connect to share best practices, experiences, and concerns. We have learned that our collective energy is invigorating and time seems to stand still for that brief hour of group connection. The enthusiasm to share resources and information illustrates the professional generosity of our colleagues. NASN noticed the enthusiasm for our chats and included our most recent gathering in NASN’s Weekly Digest!

It has been a professional and personal pleasure to participate in creating Tweet chats for school nurses. We welcome everyone with open arms and look forward to growing this group with more frequent gatherings. For the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year, we are planning on holding a #SchoolNurseChat every other month beginning in January. It may be possible that by the 2019-2020 school year we could run a monthly chat! Here is the announcement for the next chat scheduled Monday, 1/28/19:

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Our most recent #SchoolNurseChat was focused on ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences), mental health and self-care for school nurses. There were so many resources shared in the brief sixty-minute chat that a suggestion was made to curate them all in a blog post. Thanks for the great idea, Chris!  Lynne Traina shared her excellent collection of resources for ACEs, Trauma & Toxic Stress, which I have incorporated into the list below. They are in no specific order and each is equally informative and helpful. The following resources include websites, articles, videos, webinars, and books!

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ACEs Connection Join the movement to prevent ACEs, heal trauma & build resilience

School Nurses Can Be Mental Health ‘Detectives’ But They Need Help

The Risk Of Teen Depression And Suicide Is Linked To Smartphone Use, Study Says

What Are ACEs and How Do They Relate to Toxic Stress

When Students Are Traumatized, Teachers Are Too

Mindfulness and the Brain—How to Explain It to Children

EXPLORE HEALTH Adverse Childhood Experiences

An Inside Look at Trauma-Informed Practices

Sensory Processing, Coordination and Attachment

20 Principles of Educational Neuroscience By Lori Desautels, Ph.D

A Dark Consensus About Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon Valley  Dr. Stuart Shanker, @StuartShanker  Dr. Jim Walters,  @drjimwalters  Attachment and trauma network,  @attachtrauma  Aces Connection, @ACEsConnection  Dr. Ross Greene  Dr. Bruce Perry, @BDPerry  Dr. Lori Desautels, @desautels_phd and Michael McKnight, @mmknight32  – Anxiety movie for parents/staff -Must see video with Dr. Bruce Perry Trauma Sensitive Schools Online PD, Wisconsin Dept of Public Instruction  Great for parent/staff education  – Free online mental health training for school nurses – Video of a trauma-informed elementary school in Nashville, TN with Principal Matthew Portell, @principalest The Documentary Resilence: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope is a great first step in training staff. This is a trailer for the documentary.

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The Deepest Well by Nadine Burke Harris

The Boy Who Was Raised as A Dog by Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz

Building Resilience in Students Impacted by ACEs by Victoria Romero, Ricky Robertson and Amber Warner

The Trauma Informed School by Jim Sporleder and Heather T. Forbes

Lost at School by Ross Greene

Help for Billy by Heather T. Forbes

Fostering Resilient Learners by Kristin Souers and Pete Hall

Unwritten, The Story of a Living System: A Pathway to Enlivening and Transforming Education by Lori Desautels, Ph.D., and Michael McKnight

What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City by Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD

A Court of Refuge: Stories from the Bench of America’s First Mental Health Court by Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren

Childhood Disrupted How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology And How You Can Heal by Donna Jackson Nakazawa


For those who are new to Twitter, here is a great youtube video to learn the basics:


For those who are thinking about joining our next #SchoolNurseChat, here is a brief video that explains the basics of a Twitter chat:


Happy learning, keep in touch and remember to save the date for our next #SchoolNurseChat on Thursday, February 28, 2019!





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