Pennsylvania responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by closing schools and moving to online instruction in March 2020. We surveyed Pennsylvania school nurses (N = 350) in May 2020 to assess the impact of COVID-19 on nurses’ concerns about returning to school and impact on practice. Data were analyzed using χ2 tests and regression analyses. Urban school nurses were more concerned about returning to the school building without a COVID-19 vaccine than rural nurses (OR = 1.58, 95% CI [1.05, 2.38]). Nurses in urban locales were more likely to report being asked for guidance on COVID-19 (OR = 1.69, 95% CI [1.06, 2.68]), modify communication practices (OR = 2.33, 95% CI [1.42, 3.82]), and be “very/extremely concerned” about their safety (OR = 2.16, 95% CI [1.35, 3.44]). Locale and student density are important factors to consider when resuming in-person instruction; however, schools should recognize school nurses for their vital role in health communication to assist in pandemic preparedness and response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-297
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of School Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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