Parents Want More School Nurses
Do you know how many nurses work at your child's school? In many schools across the country, a nurse only visits the school once or twice per week. Rotating nurses have replaced full-time nurses, leaving unqualified faculty members to treat injuries and illnesses.
In Charlotte, North Carolina, a nurse only visits each elementary school once per week. This concerns parent Teri Saurer, whose daughter has severe food allergies, along with epilepsy. She commented, "It does concern me that a nurse is not there everyday." Saurer is trying to get more nurses into the schools by organizing meetings with other parents to raise awareness of the nurse shortage, along with targeting local and state leaders who may be able to change things.
No Money For Nurses
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that schools have one nurse for every 750 students. However, many school districts fall far short of this goal. For example, the school district that Saurer's daughter attends has one nurse for 1200 or more students.
Unfortunately, due to the current economic climate, many schools simply don't have the money to hire additional nurses. Increasing nursing coverage would mean decreasing spending somewhere else. "I can't speak where the money should come from," Saurer said. "I just know again our children's health is a priority." She continued,
"I just don't feel you can put a price on a child's life. And unfortunately a lot of states are reactive and they'll only do something once a child dies, and I would like to see this county be proactive before a tragedy occurs."
How many nurses work at your child's school? And does the shortage of full-time school nurses concern you?