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animal-assisted therapy, clinical nurse specialist, collaboration model, K-12 school setting, school counselor, school nurse



  1. Yordy, Beverly Morgan DNP, RN-BC, ACNS-BC
  2. Tuttle, Malti PhD, LPC (GA), CPCS (GA), NCC, NCSC
  3. Meyer, Jill M. PhD, LCPC, CRC


Purpose/Aims: The school nurse and school counselor serve an important role to foster student academic achievement, physical and mental health, and connectiveness. Each is paramount to student success; therefore, efforts should be made to further enhance collaborative efforts. Researchers sought to determine if an online training course centered on integrative methods would enhance collaboration between the school nurse and counselor.


Design: This study used a quasi-experimental design with 3 data points (pretest, posttest, and 6-month follow-up), assessing the impact of educational content and knowledge application based on an online training module incorporating animal-assisted therapy (AAT) concepts and the school counselor and school nurse collaboration model.


Methods: The continuing professional development questionnaire was used to evaluate professionals' behavior, specifically focusing on how knowledge translates into practice. The intervention included a training course designed for school nurses and counselors. Researchers analyzed data to determine how their collaboration and endorsement of AAT changed over time.


Results: School counselors endorsed collaboration and intention of AAT application in schools at a higher rate than school nurses. However, after the intervention, differences between school counselors and nurses diminished over time.


Conclusion: The findings provide recommendations for the clinical nurse specialist to implement evidence-based programs targeting school nurse and school counselor collaboration.