A School Nurse in 2018
As a new academic year begins, school nurses are making headlines for their many and varied roles caring for America’s children. Recent stories have highlighted how the job has changed significantly from the days of the first school nurse, hired in the early 1900s to reduce absenteeism in New York City.
Today, the nation’s 95,000 school nurses juggle an array of responsibilities that include looking for warning signs of illnesses, mental health issues, bullying, and even preparing to be first responders at school shootings. They’re outnumbered and understaffed. Only 39 percent of schools employ a full time nurses, while 35 percent employ a part time nurse, according to 2016 figures from the National Association of School Nurses.
A few recent articles highlighting the critical work of school nurses that caught our eye include:
• School Nurses Can Be Mental Health ‘Detectives’ But They Need Help, from NPR.com.
• What Does the School Nurse Want to Know about your Child? from the Austin American-Statesman.
• School Nurses Learn Trauma Skills they Hope Never to Use, from The Baltimore Sun.
Thank you to all school nurses for your work to keep students – and their communities — healthy and well. We wish you a happy school year.