Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Carol C. Thompson, Ph.D.

Committee Member 1

JoAnn Manning, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2

Cecile Sam, Ph.D.


Food allergy in children--New Jersey; School nursing--New Jersey


Educational Leadership | Health and Physical Education


The number of children affected by food allergies in the United States is large and increasing. The potential for life-threatening food-induced allergic reactions presents significant risks for students and schools. In the state of New Jersey, nurses are responsible for managing the risks associated with food allergies in elementary and secondary schools. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to explore and understand the knowledge, perceptions, policies, and practices of New Jersey public school nurses towards food allergies in schools. The participants were certified school nurses who currently work in public and public charter elementary and secondary schools in New Jersey. Interviews with eight school nurses, survey responses from 152 respondents, and school-level formal documents related to food allergies served as the data sources. Numerous themes emerged from the findings. Nurses believe that food allergies are an important issue in schools and annual training is valued. Nurses are called upon to assume numerous leadership roles when manage life-threatening food allergies. While formal food allergy policies in New Jersey schools may be similar, policy and practice variations across the state contribute to confusion and a lack of confidence in staff members' abilities to manage food allergies. School nurses encounter challenges when aiming to implement changes that address students' evolving medical needs in a safe and socially just manner. Finally, this study included recommendations for how to improve upon food allergy management within schools in the state of New Jersey.

Available for download on Saturday, August 17, 2024