School And Public Health Nurses Association





School Nurse and Public Health Nurses from across the UK had consistently called for a Professional organisation that was dedicated to their needs and, in a response to this, SAPHNA, the School and Public Health Nurses Association, was officially launched on the 1st of January 2006. At this point, having been a marginalised workforce for many decades there had never been a better time to work in the profession, which was witnessing increased focus, interest and growth.


SAPHNA was formed by a group of dedicated, experienced School and Public Health Nurses from across the UK. We are a professional organisation dedicated to the promotion of excellence in practice, taking forward the public health agenda by working in partnerships for the benefit of children and young people and the communities where they live and learn. Sharon White, Nurse, Midwife and School Nurse was appointed Professional Officer and still retains this position alongside the hard working, passionate and determined SAPHNA Executive Committee.


The first year was one of raising awareness, profile and membership; as always a huge challenge on top of the 'day job'. With no dedicated funding, this had to be done using the 'creative' skills usefully gathered through the experience of working in such an historically poorly funded and invisible service.


From the outset SAPHNA took a firm decision to be non-union affiliated, this was to avoid the potential conflict of such and also so that we could fully focus on the professional issues. rather than those of a larger union organisation. This in itself proved to be an issue as, asking School nurses to part with additional cash for membership, was, for many, unaffordable. Despite this, we, still produced our own Journal, conference, events, resources and fulfilled much of our objectives.


Over the next few years, becoming members of key stakeholder groups across the UK, advocating, representing, challenging and having direct involvement in the development of key policy, guidance and research, gave higher profile and credit to SAPHNA. Global interest then followed and, as such, we have worked in many oversees areas helping to drive forward the world wide agenda for school nursing. Sharon White, SAPHNA's Professional Officer, is now also co-chair of the School Nurses International Committee.


SAPHNA is now recognised as the leading professional association for School Nursing and is a key member of the Department of Health School Nurse Development Programme and the Children and Young People's Outcomes Framework, to name but a few accolades. We are now leading on the development of significant pieces of work to support the advancement of the profession and to improve the health and well-being of children, young people and their families.


Our recent work on Young carers has met with great recognition and support, alongside our innovative work with Independent School Nurses. Our profile is at its' highest with an approximate reach of 3,000 working in the field. This is recognised in that SAPHNA has been selected to host the next School Nurses International Conference in July 2015, to be held in London.


The ongoing mission of SAPHNA is to exploit each and every opportunity gained in reaching our success to drive forward School Nursing and, therefore, improve the health and well-being of the children, families and communities we work for.




Pinfold House (10)

Pinfold Rise


LS25 3EN






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