The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends at least one RN in every school, but according to the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), only 40% of schools have a full-time nurse and 25% don’t have any nurse.
This National Education Association map provides a clear picture of the situation; Hawaii has no school nurses and in many states only one nurse cares for 1,000 or more students. These statistics beg the question: Who in these schools is qualified to care for sick or injured students? Especially when you consider that school nurses must care for students who require not just treatment for headaches and minor scrapes, but chronic conditions (such as diabetes and asthma) and mental health issues.
The school nurse shortage, which Donna Mazyck, NASN executive director, says she believes is the result of shrinking budgets, leads to overwork and burnout for the existing nurses. Many school nurses provide care to students in more than one school, sometimes working with health assistants who call the nurse with questions if he or she is in another location.
Schools in Cincinnati, Ohio are addressing the nurse shortage by partnering with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and opening health centers in schools to serve students and the community.
Source: CBS This Morning