Welcome to

School Nurses International

SNI History

Historical Perspective by Mary E. Henley

 

In 1979, I was invited to talk to two groups of nurses, which included school nurses and public health nurses in Oxford and Southampton, England. The Meeting with the “Hampshire School Nurses Association” (HSNA) in Southampton was the “spark” that ignited our fire and brought us to our present status.  We discussed many things about school nursing, but the HSNA members were most interested in building a national organization of school nurses for the United Kingdom (UK). Pamela Rees and Kay Fletcher were the lead members of the HSNA and they suggested that if we could get a group of California school nurses and British school nurses together, we could share our programs and ideas together.

 

And so it was that in 1981 a group of 28 California school nurses met with an equal number of British school nurses at St. Hilda’s college in Oxford, England under sponsorship of the Hampshire School Nurses Association and the Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools. We all paid our own expenses and there was no intent to hold another workshop, simply to share ideas and to encourage out British counterparts to join together and develop their own national organization.  However, many friendships were formed and before leaving Oxford an invitation was extended to hold a second conference in California in 1983.

 

Beginning in 1983, a host program was added as an attraction. School nurses and their families were, and continue to be welcomed into families in the host country after the conference.

 

The use of Universities and residential schools for our conferences has given us inexpensive living space and academic backing.  This provides a forum for school nurses around the world to come together and share their knowledge and understanding of the educational, emotional, social, and physical needs of the school-aged child in a stimulating intellectual and happy environment.

 

If we have a philosophy, It would be to continue sharing as we care for the children with whom we come in contact on a daily basis in our individual educational and cultural systems, knowing that it will make a difference in his or her life. There is no official membership as committees or individuals in each country volunteer their time to jointly plan and implement the programs.

 

Formerly known as the Anglo/American School Nurses, during a meeting at York University in 1985 we were joined by a group of Scandinavian School Nurses and soon interest by other countries grew. Thereafter we became known as School Nurses International.

 

Over the years, School Nurses International has received strong support from the California School Nurses Organization Southern Sector. Although no longer with us, our original committee members included Sally Williams, Lillian Casady, Beth Hadaby, and Helen Brown who were also among the founders of National Association of School Nurses. Delora Brown and myself, continue to journey on.

 

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