Message from NASN President, Nina Fekaris
To NASN members,
I have been contacted by many asking for NASN to come out with a position against guns in schools, and I have heard from many asking for us to support the appropriate arming of school staff. When NASN issues an official statement on an issue I must take into account that, as an organization, we represent over 17,000 members from all 50 states and overseas. The way I insure that our 'voice' represents the national perspective is through the process we have in place: issues are brought before the board of directors, directors write the statements, they are reviewed by content experts, and then the entire board reviews the final statement and it is voted on as official policy of NASN. This is the only way I can be sure that all voices have been heard.
NASN does frequently sign onto letters that support or call attention to specific issues. Recently we have been asked to sign onto many letters regarding guns in schools. These requests are reviewed by NASN staff and presented to the president, president-elect and the executive committee chair of the Advocacy/Membership committee. If all parties agree, than the organization sign onto that particular issue. We are supporting a bipartisan approach to looking at school violence and how can this be prevented, how can students and staff feel safe in their schools, and what supports are needed today.
Please review the Role of the School Nurse, and School Violence position statements. They provide you the foundation for the 'voice' of NASN. This is the message that we will use when contacted by others who ask what our stand is on these recent events:
The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) envisions school communities where students are healthy, safe, and ready to learn. When violent acts, such as school shootings, threaten the safety and well-being of students and school staff, action must be focused on common sense solutions. In recent days, NASN joined the voices of multiple organizations who care about the safety of children and teens. NASN signed onto letters requesting Congress to work in a bipartisan way to enact laws that will keep children safe.
I encourage you to evaluate your own practice and begin to put into place the interventions the work 'up-stream' so these acts of violence will no longer come into our schools or into the communities where our students live and play. Please continue to tell me your thoughts and ideas, I welcome them all.