School Nurses’ Perceptions, Learning Needs and Developmental Suggestions for Mental Health Promotion: Focus Group Interviews
Anttila, Minna; Ylitalo, Milla; Kurki, Marjo H.; Hipp, Kirsi; Välimäki, Maritta (2020)
Kurki, Marjo H.
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
Anttila M., Ylitalo M., Kurki M., Hipp K., Välimäki M., (2020). School Nurses’ Perceptions, Learning Needs and Developmental Suggestions for Mental Health Promotion: Focus Group Interviews. , MDPI.
School nurses have a key role in promoting the mental health of adolescents at school.However, there is still a lack of comprehensive understanding of the role and experiences of school nurses as they promote mental health at schools. A qualitative research design employing focus group interviews was used. School nurses (n=21) were purposively sampled from one city in Southern Finland. The data were analyzed using inductive content analysis, resulting in seven categories describing school nurses’ perceptions, needs and suggestions for development of mental health promotion in school health care. School nurses perceived health care at school as a low-threshold service. Mental health problems are often first identified by a school nurse. However, school nurses felt that extra effort is needed to recognise mental health problems, build trusting relationships, and motivate adolescents to attend regular health check-ups. Specific core learning competencies such as communication skills, being present, keeping confidentiality, and the ability to motivate adolescents to regularly visit the school health clinic are needed. However, school nurses often lack basic resources for mental health promotion. The areas of mental health development included cooperation with stakeholders and parents, and development of anonymous, easy-access services. It is important that school nurses have the skills needed and enough resources to fulfil their demanding tasks in school health care services.