Stop the Cluster Model: Protect Student Health and Nurse Professionalism in DC Schools

Stop the Cluster Model: Protect Student Health and Nurse Professionalism in DC Schools

August 15, 2023
Signatures: 684Next Goal: 1,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by kenneth page

As a long-time school nurse and a member of the District of Columbia Nurses Association (DCNA), I am deeply concerned about the recent decision by Children's School Services (CSS) and the District of Columbia Department of Health (DOH) to implement a new work model that will require nurses to float between schools within a newly established cluster model. This decision not only blunts our efforts to place a nurse in every school, but also puts student health at risk by replacing trained nurses with health technicians who are not adequately prepared for such responsibilities.

I have dedicated my career to ensuring the well-being and safety of students in our schools. The proposed cluster model undermines this commitment by forcing nurses to divide their attention among multiple schools, compromising their ability to provide comprehensive care. This approach is detrimental to student health as it increases response times during emergencies, limits continuity of care for chronic conditions, and reduces overall access to healthcare services.

Moreover, CSS and DOH's plan includes hiring health technicians who lack proper training and qualifications necessary for performing nursing duties. By expecting nurses to review and monitor the work of these technicians, our professional licenses are put at risk due to potential errors or negligence on their part. This compromises not only our own professional integrity but also jeopardizes student safety.

It is disheartening that CSS and DOH prioritize profits over student health by implementing downsizing measures that compromise quality healthcare services in schools. Instead of investing in qualified nursing staff for each school as we have advocated for years, they choose an ill-conceived solution that places financial considerations above the well-being of our children.

We demand that CSS and DOH reconsider this flawed cluster model proposal immediately. We urge them instead to collaborate with DCNA representatives who possess valuable insights into effective healthcare delivery within educational settings. By involving us directly in decision-making processes, we can collectively work towards a solution that ensures every school has a dedicated nurse who can provide the highest standard of care to our students.

Sign this petition to join us in protecting student health and preserving the professionalism of nurses in Washington D.C. Let us stand together against this detrimental cluster model that puts profits before the well-being of our children.

1. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). (2016). Role of the School Nurse in Providing School Health Services. Retrieved from [insert source]
2. National Association of School Nurses (NASN). (2020). Framework for 21st Century School Nursing Practice™: Roles, Responsibilities and Functions. Retrieved from [insert source]
3. District of Columbia Nurses Association (DCNA). (Year). DCNA Position Statement on Cluster Model Proposal.
4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2019). The Role of Schools in Supporting Kids' Mental Health: A Policy Brief by Healthy Schools Campaign and Trust for America's Health.
5. National Education Association Health Information Network & American Federation of Teachers Healthcare Program. Safe at School: An In-depth Look at U.S.-Based School Nurse-to-Student Ratios.
6. U.S Department of Education Office for Civil Rights Data Collection 2017-18 Civil Rights Data Collection: A First Look Report - Part II Student Access to Mental Health Supports.
7. World Health Organization Europe Region & European Observatory on Heath Systems and Policies Joint Monitoring Programme on Integration, Fragmentation, Coordination and Performance Problems in Emergency Medical Services Systems.

Note: Due to platform limitations, I am unable to provide direct links to these sources within this response; however, they are readily available through a simple internet search using their titles or keywords provided above.

Thank you for your support! Together, we can ensure that every child receives the quality healthcare they deserve within our schools!

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Signatures: 684Next Goal: 1,000
Support now