Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

School Nursing Health Care Transition Policies and Practices for Serving Youth with Disabilities and Special Health Care Needs
by Gentles, Marilyn Elaine, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2013, 369; 3557496
Abstract (Summary)

Youth with disabilities and special health care needs (YDSHCN) preparing to exit high schools should receive mandated secondary transition planning. Transition is required to move youth with disabilities smoothly from high school services to postsecondary education and training, work, and adult community participation. Health care transition (HCT) of youth to adult health services is an emerging national focus (Healthy People 2020), but the role of the school nurse in HCT has not been explored. I

n this study, literature is presented on the political, legal, and socio-cultural contexts of the study, the key players for school-based HCT, and a review of relevant research, with emphasis on the role of the school nurse in educational settings and transition services. Review of the literature indicates a lack of research on the roles and responsibilities of the school nurse regarding services to YDSHCN, particularly pertaining to HCT. It is not known what policies and guidance exist for school nurses serving YDSHCN.

This research uses a qualitative single-case study design, through interviews and document reviews, to discover policies and practices that exist for school nurses serving transition-age YDSHCN preparing to exit schools in a school district in a Mid-Atlantic state. Seven district school nurses and three elite informants from the same state were interviewed, and three expert informants, outside of the state, provided information to help inform the study and shape its focus.

The study adresses the overarching research question: What elements of health care transition policies and practices are in place for serving transition-age YDSHCN preparing to exit secondary schools in this one school district? Texts from the interviews and documents were coded and analyzed to gain insight into the policies and practices, and organized using Bronfenbrenner's (1979) ecological framework. The results indicate that no comprehensive policy that includes health care transition policy exists, and that gaps exist at each level of the ecological framework. The study concludes with policy and practice recommendations.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Leconte, Pamela J.
Commitee: Dannels, Sharon A., Kochhar-Bryant, Carol A., Lever, Nancy, Repetto, Jeanne
School: The George Washington University
Department: Special Education
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 74/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Special education, Nursing
Keywords: Disabilities, Health care transition, Policies and practices, School nursing, Special education, Special health care needs
Publication Number: 3557496
ISBN: 978-1-303-00628-9
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