Date of Graduation

Fall 12-17-2015

Document Type

Restricted Project - USF access only

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing and Health Professions




Family Nurse Practitioner

First Advisor

Dr. Jo Loomis

Second Advisor

Dr. Stefan Rowniak

Third Advisor

Dr. Susan Pauly-O'Neill



The School-based health center (SBHC) has become a means to improve access to health care among school-aged children. These health centers offer on-campus support to students suffering from minor, chronic, and acute health problems. Historically, the SBHC has provided access to health services for children facing financial, and geographic barriers (Council on School Health, 2012). The stresses felt by these children often manifest as changes in physical, and emotional wellbeing. The San Francisco Council for the Homeless stated that without the support of school-based health professionals, it would be virtually impossible for these students to get an education (The San Francisco Plan to Abolish Chronic Homelessness, 2004; San Francisco Ten-Year Planning Council, 2004).

The purpose of this project was to develop a Nurse Practitioner (NP)-managed school based health center (SBHC) in a private elementary school in San Francisco, California. Nearly all of the students enrolled in this elementary school live at or below the Federally established poverty line. In order to manage health issues that arise in the school setting, the NP in the SBHC setting has the potential to improve access to care by providing primary health care and linking these services with existing health services in the community. .

Faculty and staff members were interviewed before and after the introduction of the SBHC and used Likert-Type scales to rank the effect of having a SBHC available on campus. Results of these interviews showed that the faculty and staff were more confident in their knowledge of health issues (48%) that can be managed in the school setting, and they felt that the students were safer (53%) with the presence of the SBHC.

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