School nurses' support for bereaved students: a pilot study


School nurses' support for bereaved students: a pilot study


Lohan JA


Journal of School Nursing




Attitude of Health Personnel; PedPal Lit; Adult Aged; Bereavement Child Clinical Competence/standards Female Focus Groups Humans Middle Aged Needs Assessment; Non-U.S. Gov't School Nursing/education/organization & administration Self EfficacySocial Support Students/psychology/statistics & numerical data Washington Workload; Nurse's Role/psychology Nursing Assessment Nursing Methodology Research Nursing Staff/education/organization & administration/psychology Pilot Projects Questionnaires Research Support


Children may have difficulty with schoolwork because of grief over the death of an important person in their lives. School nurses provide support to these children. This pilot study consisted of a Web-based survey completed by 6 school nurses in a 3-county area in Washington state. The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the need for additional support for bereaved children and the extent to which school nurses meet the needs of these students. Results indicated that many school nurses have large caseloads that preclude spending as much time with bereaved students as the nurses feel is necessary. Bereaved students exhibit a wide variety of grief symptoms that may interfere with learning. In addition, rural areas do not have adequate community bereavement resources that nurses can use to refer students who need help beyond that offered at school. Nurses must be more active in supporting students within the school setting despite limited resources.


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Lohan JA, “School nurses' support for bereaved students: a pilot study,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed December 10, 2023,