School nurse


​Queensland Health employs School Based Youth Health Nurses (SBYHN) who work in secondary schools across Queensland, including Schools of Distance Education. These nurses focus on preventative health for young people and provide: 

  • a confidential health service
  • health information to students, teachers and the school community
  • intervention and links to other services as required.

School Based Youth Health Nurses are not employed to administer medications, deliver health procedures or provide routine first aid. Queensland state schools offer these services via other staff members.

In accordance with the School Based Youth Health Nurse program management guidelines and Memorandum of Understanding, this service is accessible by all students in a secondary setting.

How the school-based youth health nurse can support your teenager

Confidential student appointments

Your teenager can make an appointment with the School Based Youth Health Nurse to discuss any questions they have about their health. These appointments are confidential, and the nurse will not share any information without the student’s consent unless there is a risk to the student’s health in not sharing this information with others.

In most cases, it is best for young people to talk to their parents about health and wellbeing issues. The School Based Youth Health Nurse can support young people to do this.

Generally the law recognises that young people (usually over the age of 12 years) have the right to self-determine access to a health service. The School Based Youth Health Nurse will assess if the young person has a sufficient level of maturity and understanding regarding the issues and the health services proposed. Where the School Based Youth Health Nurse assesses that the young person does not have sufficient levels of maturity and understanding, the School Based Youth Health Nurse will seek consent from the young person's parent.

Individual health consultations may include:

  • early detection of actual or potential health problems
  • providing information, options or referrals regarding relevant health services to provide them with further assessment, treatment or support
  • providing brief interventions and/or referrals as appropriate.

Some of the main issues for which young people access a School Based Youth Health Nurse are mental health, including social and emotional wellbeing, relationships, stress, eating issues, sexual and reproductive health, drugs (including tobacco and alcohol) and growth and development.

Where possible and with the young person’s consent, the school may establish a team approach with Education Queensland school support staff to address the health needs of the young person. 

Other nursing services in Queensland state schools

In addition to the School Based Youth Health Nurse program, Education Queensland employs Registered Nurses (EQRNs) to work in state primary and secondary schools, to assist school personnel to safely manage the health needs of students with verified disabilities and specialised health needs, supporting their participation in an educational program.

For further information, contact the school administration on the School Based Youth Health Nurse program and other health services available to the school to support students’ health and wellbeing.

Last reviewed 16 April 2019
Last updated 16 April 2019