Support for Healthy Students- A Nurse in Every School Every Day

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The School Nurse Association of NC is petitioning for your support for SB331/HB 347 Healthy Students-Nurses in Every School.  These bills support the immediate need to place a registered nurse all day, every day into each public school building. 

School nurses are the only licensed health care provider in a school and manages all school health services and programs. School nurses are the leaders in the school building to bridge health care and education in order to collaborate and create healthy communities across the state.

To align with the National Association of School Nurse recommendations of a minimum of one registered school nurse per school site every day, it will take the support of our state government. The bills which are proposed, SB 331 and HB 347, are the first steps to ensure all of our students have equal access to a school nurse in their building and their health needs are being met.

Prior to the pandemic, across the state of NC, school nurses served the wide ranging health needs of 1.5 million children with identified medical conditions. Of those, 200,000 are considered to have complex health needs. At the end of 2019, the average school nurse served 1160 students while some nurses served as many as 2,300 students. On average, the school nurse serves three schools on three different campuses, at times even requiring ferry crossing in order to reach their additional site. Only 44% of school nurses across the state amongst public serve one school with only 22% of charter schools even having a school nurse at all. Approximately 60% of all medical procedures conducted in schools are performed by school employees who are not nurses. One year post pandemic, North Carolina school children’s health needs have not changed, yet the school needs the school nurse resource to address ongoing COVID safety measures and ensure prior needs remain met.  School nurses assist with social emotional learning and identifying mental health needs. After a year of the COVID pandemic it is critical to have additional nursing support to meet the mental health needs of our children

As we have reached our one year COVID-19 pandemic anniversary, the role of the school nurse has been in the spotlight. We as school nurses have demonstrated our medical expertise within our school communities. The expertise of the school nurse is an economical assurance for school systems ensuring the best education for their community children. Research shows that for every one dollar invested on a school nurse program, $2.20 is gained by the community. 

Today is our chance to advocate for the health and well being of our children. Your support in our efforts to place a nurse in every school is appreciated.