How to 'Ask a question'....

  • 11 April 2018

We've loaded this as an example of how to 'ask the network a question'. So here goes.


Our question for April is...

'What part of the country are you logging on from?'


We'd love to know how far and wide our site can reach... and if you have the time, tell us about your role while you're here! What decile is your school/are your schools? Co-ed? Boys school? Girls school? Public or private? Vote health or vote education? Favourite thing about your job? Biggest challenge?

(Remember anything you post will be able to read by anyone logging on so the usual social network rules apply! We reserve the right to delete any content that is deemed innapropriate).


Share this post


  • Brigid Lamont
  • 3 May 2018
  • 11:41 am

I work at Albany Junior High School in Auckland, a public co-ed school years 7-10. I have been in the role for 18 months and have learnt alot but there is so much more to learn, therefore I am very grateful to now have such an amazing website as a resource. Thanks to all those who have contributed.

  • Sian van Heuven
  • 29 Jun 2018
  • 3:16 pm

Hi, I have only been a school nurse since very end of term 1. I am lucky to be involved in a new school(new teaching concept, new build and new staff), new role and new team as we work together to to produce a wrap around service for our students and whanau. Put policies and procedures in and grow the role of the school nurse. I am A&E experienced of 10 plus years but now am delving into a new path and am super excited! Thanks to one of my teacher colleagues, they found this page for me and I am SO grateful as now I have something to bounce off of. I believe there was a waikato school nursing forum but had died out and am willing to ignite this group together even if bi-monthly! If any school nurses in the waikato area do have a group or would like to be part of this one then please contact me. Many Thanks, Sian

  • Kate Vaaulu
  • 8 Feb 2019
  • 3:35 pm

The website is amazing well done! I work for the Western Bay of Plenty Primary Health Organisation as a School Nurse at Otumoetai College (Co-Ed 2010 students this year) and our separate teen parent unit which has up to 26 wahine toa. The decile for our school is 6 but we have a massive range of socio economic background from rural into the suburbs. It's great working for a PHO as we have the ability to work together as a group of nurses across 9 schools, and alternative education sites. Resources are developed for the group for example standing orders and a shared medtech database. I do mostly sexual health, including talking to the health classes when they do their sexual health topics. Otherwise there is lots of mental health work from self harm to eating disorders and anxiety, and of course heeadsss assessments, and working with the pastoral care team. My most challenging part has been working with young women who are parenting with addiction in the teen parent unit. I am studying my post graduate diploma of youth health at the University of Auckland, and I highly recommend it to anyone; in fact it will likely be an expectation for employment as a School Based Health Nurse in the Bay of Plenty in the future.

  • Ange F
  • 22 Feb 2019
  • 9:31 am

Hi Sian, i would love to chat to please about your previous position at RHS. Are you able to text me on 021767827?

  • Alison Hillz
  • 21 Aug 2019
  • 10:16 am

I would like to hear from anyone in the school nurse setting who could recommend the best education re Youth Mental health. What support are school nurses receiving when dealing with youth mental health issues? Is anyone experiencing serious problems? How are the issues being addressed & do you, as a nurse, feel supported? I am nursing in Waikato.

  • Leanne
  • 8 Nov 2019
  • 1:57 pm

Hi there, Id like to touch base with anyone that is happy to talk about pay ie salary with MOE. struggling a bit with understanding a few things

  • Anonymous
  • 12 Mar 2020
  • 8:04 pm

Hi. I'd really like to speak to a doctor regarding a difficult discussion with parents of a child. Can anyone suggest someone who can support me. School nursing is wonderful but I'd really appreciate a medical support network.

  • Paula
  • 3 Apr 2020
  • 7:09 pm

Kia ora everyone Just wanting to know if any PHO run school based services or school funded services are keeping in contact with students in their schools during this time of covid lock-down. Especially support around depo and ECP issue. We did start a 0800 support line here in our region to assist with and educate youth on how they can access this. Update of this has been poor thus far . Appreciate any information or ideas as lock-down for youth will be a challenge as we know. Thanks Na mihi Paula Bay of Plenty

  • Barry Taylor
  • 24 Jul 2020
  • 7:39 pm

I am trying to understand if school nurses would routinely test hearing of students or only if they think they have a hearing problem. If you do test hearing, how do you do it?

  • Nicola Drake
  • 29 Jan 2021
  • 10:22 am

Morena. Is anyone doing any work around addressing obesity with young people in their clinics and if so can you recommend any resources? Especially around the issue of how to start a conversation around it. Thank you!

  • Alison Hills
  • 29 Jan 2021
  • 11:30 am

In response to Nicola's question regarding obesity and how to approach the subject...Firstly, I think we need to establish whether a Student believes they have an issue with their weight!! I am an advocate for health and well-being rather than focusing on what the scales say! A Student may be bigger but if they play sport and are active , these are important protective factors. If the Student is from a whanau of bigger people, they may be genetically pre-disposed to be heavier than their 'text book weight'. I look at other factors such as diet, whether they are smoke free, socio-economic status, sleep, mental health and pre-existing conditions. If you take a look at the Research by the University of Otago, there is a wealth of information." Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research is an excellent place to start. Hope this is helpful, Kind Regards, Alison Hills.Hillcrest High School Health Clinic.

  • Melissa Davidson
  • 9 Feb 2021
  • 11:39 am

Hey all, just responding to Nicola's query about obesity - here in the Waikato, we have been able to tap into the wonderful resource of Ahei. Which helps to frame conversation around developing healthy relationships with food, and healthy self image. Im sure the team at Ahei would be happy to answer questions and provide resources if contacted - here's their website: (Please note, I'm not afiliated with ahei, have just found them really useful for our team)

  • Robyn Peterson
  • 9 Feb 2021
  • 1:04 pm

Kia ora I am the school nurse at Wellington College. I love my job here. Great staff and students I really like the response Alison Hills gave to Nicolas question. I am also finding now, the few students that take on a huge exersise regime and little food due to body image etc. I am wanting to do more education on this. I have just started the goodfellow online course but can anyone help me find something else that is on line learning that I can delve in to Love how we have a NZSN Newsletter, thanks for all the work envolved Robyn

  • Rachelle Smith
  • 24 Mar 2021
  • 12:52 pm

Hi Everyone, My question is around what union everyone belongs to. Is there an Individual School Nurse Agreement anyone has written up or do you belong to NZNO for indemnity and Support Staff Collective NZEI for union?

  • Christine Cammell
  • 24 Mar 2021
  • 1:06 pm

Hi Rachelle! Great question. Our recent research of 184 School Nurses from across NZ found that: 72% belong to NZNO. 8% belong to PSA. 6% belong to the College of Nurses. The rest were smaller amounts of 'don't know', 'not insured', etc and only 1% belonged to NZEI. While we don't recommend any particular Indemnity Insurer, we certainly recommend every school nurse having indemnity insurance! We hope this helps. And if anyone has an individual school nurse agreement, we would love to see it! :) Nga Mihi, NZSN.

  • Rachelle Smith
  • 24 Mar 2021
  • 1:12 pm

Thank you so much Christine! That is very helpful however I am still a little confused if I should sign up with NZEI as well as NZNO so I can get any benefits from NZEI while being employed by the school (not DHB/PHO) and staying with NZNO for my indemnity... Help!! Any further thoughts?

  • Christine Cammell
  • 24 Mar 2021
  • 1:24 pm

Hi Again Rachelle! If you can afford both, I don't see any reason why not, if they both offer benefits. Ultimately, its your call based on what you feel supports you best. You could always call both options and ask for their advice! Best Wishes!

  • Lynley
  • 25 Jun 2021
  • 2:31 pm

Hi I'm a relatively new school nurse but employed by the DHB to provide SBHS to a high school. My concern is that the school are wanting me to pride them information about the girls I see and advise them of referrals I send off. I have explained about confidentiality of health information and I can only share this if the girl consents however the topic keeps coming up. Anyone else have any issues like this at their schools?

  • Megan Yates
  • 1 Feb 2023
  • 10:21 pm

hi out there in school nurse land....I have returned to school nursing after 10 years and want to set up a student health council. I had a very successful one in south auckland but I can't find any guidance about how to do it - I guess just pull some kids together and see what happens? Any experience would be greatly appreciated Oh and Lynley offer to provide statistics which shows how effective you are in engaging students.....

  • NZSN
  • 3 Feb 2023
  • 10:58 am

Hi Megan! Welcome back :) Here are some options with info about setting up health councils to get you started: - this is a USA based article on principles of SBHCs. May not be that useful to you, but perhaps a reference if you need school 'buy in'? - this is Youthlines Health Council Info. I'd suggest you contact them initially as setting up a health council CAN take a lot of time and resource and Youthline have funding to support your school to do this. - Rainbow Youth have this guide to setting up Rainbow Diversity Groups in schools. This may not be the specific group you are wanting to set up, but the principles in this guide are very helpful and align well with establishing a student health council. - this dated MoH doc has some steps and info around school health councils, BUT it refers to 'a 'Youth Health Council Best Practice Guide' which we couldn't find anywhere else in the document, and is not hyperlinked or locatilable with an internet search... Hopefully this is a start... our experience is that while student health councils offer MANY benefits for students and are a great initiative, they DO take plenty of time and energy and resource to establish and then maintain, and sustain, so good on you for taking the time to think and research before you begin so that you have the best start possible. Good Luck!

  • Alison Hackett
  • 27 Jun 2023
  • 10:59 pm

I am looking for information regarding the qualifications required to practice as a school nurse in New Zealand and also if school nursing is regulated. I am a doctoral student in the UK and my thesis is exploring the mental health work of the school nurse. Thank you.

Leave a comment


Email address

This is never shown to the public.