School Nurse Day
National School Nurse Day is on Wednesday, May 8 2013
NEA Salutes School Nurses on School Nurse Day and Every Day
If you think school nursing is all about flu shots, Band-Aids, and record-keeping, you haven't been inside a school lately.
School health professionals juggle a complex array of medical and social issues, seeing thousands of students, and often moving from school to school throughout the district.
A typical schedule can encompass immunizations, health care screenings, hearing and vision testing; dealing with home accidents, diseases such as diabetes and asthma, student obesity, special needs like tube-feeding, preventing the spread of disease through blood exposure; and the fallout from mental, emotional, and social problems, including arranging for disadvantaged students to receive breakfast and clothing, and even helping students cope who are homeless or whose parents are incarcerated.
For some students, the school nurse is the only health care professional they ever see.
Nor is their work confined to the nurse's office—they must also interact with other professionals such as teachers, doctors, child study teams, administrators, school counselors, coaches, parents, police officers, drug and substance abuse professionals, social workers, and other Education Support Professionals.
Many Students, Few Nurses
About 50,000 school nurses are employed in America, but we need more. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, schools should have one nurse for every 750 students. The reality is a far cry from the recommendation; about 59% of schools have a higher ratio of students to available nurses.
According to statistics from the National Association of School Nurses, in 2005, Michigan, for example, had about 3,611 students for every school nurse, and Utah had only one nurse for every 4,952 students. At the same time, the number of students with medical needs continues to increase.
Yet, school nurses rise to the challenge. Healers, comforters, educators, mentors, trainers, role models, critically-needed members of every school community—heroes all—NEA salutes school nurses this day and every day.
School Nurses are Important to NEA
NEA is proud of its 11,400 school nurse members! Find out how you can join NEA and add your voice in support of all public school employees.