Robin Fleming is an interdisciplinary researcher, author, program developer, and policy expert in the fields of health and education.  Her areas of expertise are in school health and its application to reducing health and academic disparities, and in the integration of health and non-health systems necessary to improve population health.

In December 2018, after completing 18 months as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow during which Fleming worked in the U.S. Senate and the Congressional Research Service, she resumed her affiliate assistant professor and lecturing position at the University of Washington School of Nursing.

Prior to her fellowship, Fleming administered school health services in Washington State’s 295 school districts, providing leadership, policy guidance, consultation, training and professional development to school nurses and others at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Washington State’s education agency.  She also worked with state and national legislators, policy makers, and community agencies to inform and strengthen Washington State’s health reform efforts; helped to maintain school nurse funding in Washington State’s legislative and gubernatorial budgets; embedded school nurse leaders in the State’s Accountable Communities of Care network; and developed a school nurse case management program for low-income students with asthma.

Prior to her service at OSPI, Fleming developed and provided educational events for a variety of nurse practice groups at the Washington State Nurses Association and worked with legislators and state and community agencies to effect legislative and policy change in support of safe nursing practice, and the health of all Washingtonians.

Fleming served for 13 years as a school nurse in Seattle Public Schools where she provided clinical services to students and received grant funding to develop programs for immigrant and low-income students.  

Fleming has conducted and published research and presented nationally on

school health policy; education and health access for immigrant students; program development in schools; the impacts and opportunities of health reform on school-based health programs and school nurses; and the relationships between educational and health inequities.  

Fleming currently serves on AcademyHealth’s Public Health Systems Research Interest Group advisory committee.  She has served on the boards of the American School Health Association, the School Nurse Organization of Washington, and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN). She won the award for Best Completed Research (NASN, 2010), and the Aubrey Davis award for Progressive Leadership (Economic Opportunity Institute, 2012) for her contributions to education and child health.

Fleming received her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from the University of Washington in 2008.  She holds a master’s degree in Community Health Nursing from the UW, where she also received her BSN in 1998. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Seattle University in 1982.  

Authored by Robin Fleming, RN, Ph.D., F.A.A.N.

Blog Post

Increased caseloads and COVID-19 complications erode school nurses’ critical role in facilitating childhood vaccinations

Burnout threatens to upend the traditional school nurse gatekeeping function that upholds state laws requiring vaccines for school attendance.