Research Priorities

NASN Research Priorities 2022

The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) encourages researchers to invest in programs of research with well-designed studies that improve the health of students and school communities. Needs assessments and documentation of gaps in the research literature, knowledge, skills, and resources are crucial. A range of research approaches, including multisite, longitudinal, mixed methods, and intervention studies, are essential for the advancement of school nursing science and its impact on keeping students healthy, safe, and ready to learn.

NASN champions robust research that addresses one or more of the following research priorities:

Research Priority Targeted Activities
Addressing Health Equity and Social Determinants of Health Examine the roles of school nurses in addressing health equity and reducing health disparities, school nurse-involved/school nurse-led interventions that target disadvantaged student groups and reduce disparities among groups, and sustained health impact of interventions through longitudinal studies.
Disaster Preparedness and Public Health Emergency Response Assess gaps in school nurses’ readiness for their roles in disaster preparedness and public health emergency response, school nurses’ contributions to interdisciplinary collaboration and leadership during COVID-19 and past disasters, and opportunities to improve the specialty’s capacity to advocate for population-based student health and healthy equity in future events.
Funding for School Health Investigate cost-benefit of alternative funding models (cost of obtaining school nurse outcomes and the processes to achieve them), role and value of school nurses in under-resourced rural and urban school settings, and impact of state legislation/policies and Medicaid funding on school nursing services and student health and academic outcomes.
Implementation Science Evaluate strategies to accelerate the adoption of evidence-based practices, especially NASN toolkits and clinical practice guidelines, and school nurses’ impact on Healthy People 2030 Leading Health Indicators and implementation of CDC’s Health Impact in Five Years (HI-5) interventions. Translate research into policy and practice in both health and education sectors.
School Nursing Practice Analyze the structural measures of school health services and process measures of school nursing interventions on individual and population-based student outcomes, intermediate (proximal) student outcome measures that are sensitive to school nurse interventions, and system-level approaches to address community/public health issues. Utilize existing data such as electronic health records and databases when possible. Examine school nurses’ ability to improve the following: access to mental, behavioral, primary, and school-based chronic disease health care; health care spending and value of specialty’s contributions to health and health care delivery; standardization of measuring school nursing quality, especially in care coordination and health equity; and integration of practice and research activities with school psychologists, social workers, counselors, educators, and administrators.
School Nursing Workforce Study the economic and noneconomic effects of COVID-19 and COVID-19-related policies, entry and exit from the specialty, effective recruitment and retainment of a diverse school nurse workforce, school nursing infrastructure (nurse-to-student ratio, workload, and state school nurse-specific policies) and its association with student health and academic outcomes, and the role school nurse leaders/administrators play in education leadership teams and decision-making.
School Nurse Well-Being Investigate the well-being of school nurses using measures of physical, mental, social, and moral well-being; interventions to address compassion fatigue, moral distress, workplace violence; and effects of mobile health technologies on school nurses’ well-being.

In addition to robust research projects, systematic literature reviews synthesizing the state of the science in priority areas would also be valued contributions to the literature.

Faculty are encouraged to facilitate student projects and empirical studies that fill in the gaps within the current research landscape and within their own program of research.


The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity

Healthy People 2030

Health Impact in 5 Years | Office of the Associate Director for Policy and Strategy

Page last updated July 2022.