what we do

School Nurses International provides a forum for nurses around the world working with school children to come together in a stimulating intellectual and happy environment to share their knowledge and understanding of the emotional, social and physical needs of the school-aged child.  

Since 1981, members have voluntarily formed international committees to jointly organize, plan, and host biennial conferences. The use of Universities and residential schools for our conferences has given us economical living space and academic support and in many instances School Nurses and their families have been welcomed into the homes of families in the host country after the conference, through which many friendships have been forged. 

Our goal is to share knowledge in the caring of children in our individual educational systems, knowing that it will make a difference in his or her life. 

2021 conference


In consideration of current world events, it has been decided it is best to postpone the next SNI conference which was scheduled to be held in Tokyo in July of 2021.

Our organizing committee has been working very hard and is dedicated to hosting the conference, but not in 2021. It appears we have been eclipsed by Olympic events, which have been re-scheduled to coincide with our conference week. The uncertainties presented by the COVID-19 global pandemic complicate safe travel to Japan. 

I am sure you are as disappointed as I am, but let's take the time now to concentrate on our own health and safety and that of our families. I look forward to announcing the new conference dates once it is appropriate. - Karen Farrell 

If you have any questions about SNI or the event, please send an email to:


Watch for important updates about the next SNI Conference here on our Website and Facebook Page.

our history

Perspective by Mary Henley

In 1979, I was invited to talk to two groups of nurses, which included school nurses and public health nurses in Oxford and Southampton, England. The Meeting with the “Hampshire School Nurses Association” (HSNA) in Southampton was the “spark” that ignited our fire and brought us to our present status.  We discussed many things about school nursing, but the HSNA members were most interested in building a national organization of school nurses for the United Kingdom (UK). Pamela Rees and Kay Fletcher were the lead members of the HSNA and they suggested that if we could get a group of California school nurses and British school nurses together, we could share our programs and ideas together. 

And so it was that in 1981 a group of 28 California school nurses met with an equal number of British school nurses at St. Hilda’s college in Oxford, England under sponsorship of the Hampshire School Nurses Association and the Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools. We all paid our own expenses and there was no intent to hold another workshop, simply to share ideas and to encourage out British counterparts to join together and develop their own national organization.  However, many friendships were formed and before leaving Oxford an invitation was extended to hold a second conference in California in 1983. 

Beginning in 1983, a host program was added as an attraction. School nurses and their families were, and continue to be welcomed into families in the host country after the conference.

The use of Universities and residential schools for our conferences has given us inexpensive living space and academic backing.  This provides a forum for school nurses around the world to come together and share their knowledge and understanding of the educational, emotional, social, and physical needs of the school-aged child in a stimulating intellectual and happy environment.

If we have a philosophy, It would be to continue sharing as we care for the children with whom we come in contact on a daily basis in our individual educational and cultural systems, knowing that it will make a difference in his or her life. There is no official membership as committees or individuals in each country volunteer their time to jointly plan and implement the programs.

Formerly known as the Anglo/American School Nurses, during a meeting at York University in 1985 we were joined by a group of Scandinavian School Nurses and soon interest by other countries grew. Thereafter we became known as School Nurses International.

Over the years, School Nurses International has received strong support from the California School Nurses Organization Southern Sector. Although no longer with us, our original committee members included Sally Williams, Lillian Casady, Beth Hadaby, and Helen Brown who were also among the founders of National Association of School Nurses.

Previous SNI Conferences:

1981 St. Hilda's College, Oxford, UK

1983 UCLA, California, USA

1985 Derwent College, York, UK

1987 UCSD, California, USA

1989 Jönköping, Sweden, EU

1991 Chester College, UK

1993 UCSB, California, USA

1995 Eindhoven, The Netherlands, EU

1997 University of Alaska, USA

1999 University Hall, Cardiff, Wales, UK

2001 Brandbjerg Hojskole, Jelling, Denmark, EU

2003 University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, USA

2005 Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

2007 Singapore

2009 Monmouth University, New Jersey, USA

2011 Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China

2013 Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

2015 University of Greenwich, London, UK

2017 San Francisco State University, California, USA

2019 Scandic Foresta Stockholm, Sweden, EU 

Moving Forward

As our founding members move on, the importance of collaborative leadership remains instrumental in the continuity of our organization. Since 2005, Karen Farrell has demonstrated her loyal dedication to the fundamental philosophy and efforts of School Nurses International and now continues the journey on. 

– Mary Henley

I am both honored and humbled that Mary Henley has chosen me to lead School Nurses International into the future. I pledge to do my best to keep SNI on track and maintain the goals first set down by Mary and her team back in 1981. Our mission of developing friendships amongst our international peers and colleagues, in the spirit of sharing what we all do best for children, has a bright future! I am excited to work with you as we continue this journey. 

– My sincerest best wishes, Karen Farrell

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At The Next School Nurses International Conference