School Nursing Initiative
The School Nursing Initiative is a unique, collaborative effort of the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) and Orange County Public Schools. Its goal is to boost student health and attendance by staffing schools in the Winter Park Consortium of Schools with professionally licensed nurses.
It is one of several programs the Foundation supports to care for the health of the whole child. In the belief that Healthy Kids Make Better Students and Better Students Make Healthy Communities, the Foundation also provides mental health counselors, called CHILL Counselors, in each of the Consortium schools. CHILL Counselors and nurses work closely together to improve the physical and mental health of students and in the process, eliminate roadblocks to learning.
These nurses provide a variety of services and are able to handle emergencies and treat illnesses so that children can return to class as quickly as possible, ready to learn and make the most of the school day.
Click on “Schools” or “Visit Your School” to find your School Nurse.
Financial support from WPHF allows schools in the Consortium—Winter Park High and its elementary and middle feeder schools—to hire either Licensed Practical Nurses who have one year of education, or Registered Nurses, who have two to four years of education. All nurses must take continuing medical education classes to keep their licenses current. School nurses provide health screening, prevention and health maintenance services, as well as emergency care.
In addition, when the need exists, nurses can refer students to the Consortium’s Nurse Practitioners based at Glenridge Middle School and Winter Park High School. They have master’s degrees and are able to offer more advanced care. They are available to see children residing in Winter Park Consortium attendance zones. They provide an important service to students whose families don’t have adequate health care coverage or access to a health care provider for their children. Funded by WPHF, the Nurse Practitioners can assess, diagnose and prescribe medications and therapies for patients. Appointments are required.