Five Ways a School Nurse Benefits the School
Attendance - School nurses improve attendance through health promotion, disease prevention and disease management. Students with a full-time school nurse have about half the student illness- or injury-related early releases from school where no school nurse is present.
Academics – Improved attendance means the healthy student is in the classroom and ready to learn. School Nurses enable better performance, which also contributes to reducing drop-out rates.
Time – School nurses save time for principals, teachers and staff. A school nurse in the building saves principals, teachers, and clerical staff a considerable amount of time that they would have spent addressing health concerns of students.
A school nurse in the building saves:
Principals almost an hour a day
Teachers almost 20 minutes a day
Clerical staff over 45 minutes a day
Staff Wellness - School nurses improve the general health of staff. According to school reports, principals, teachers, and clerical staff are VERY satisfied with having school nurses in their schools for several reasons:
Teachers can focus on teaching
Office staff spend less time calling parents and sending students home
Healthy staff means increased attendance and productivity
Accountability - School nurses help schools stay accountable.
Promoting compliance with federal and state law mitigates lawsuits
Advocating for adequate staffing aligns with Healthy People 2020
recommendations of the ratio of one school nurse per 750 well students (1:750)
Preparing for emergencies saves lives and property
Addressing student mental health links to academic achievement
School nurses are instrumental in the identification and referral to community resources for health risks and are often the only health professional who see students on a regular basis.
School nurses are responsible for:
Significantly decreasing the amount of days missed due to asthma, the leading cause of school absenteeism, accounting for more than 14 million missed days annually
Managing students with chronic conditions such as diabetes and seizures to allow them to stay in class
Identifying and treating accidents and injuries
Counseling students about physical and emotional issues
Healthy Children = Academic Success www.nasn.org
School Nurses Economic Value
Provide health services that increase school attendance
Prevent and control the spread of communicable disease
Administer specialized services to students (medications, insulin pumps, ventilators, tube feedings)
Verification of immunizations
Screening and make referrals for vision, hearing, BMI
Provide health professional input and direction for school and community policies and programs
Educate students and staff on managing their own health and wellness
Allen, G. (2003). The impact of elementary school nurses on student attendance. Journal of School Nursing, 10(4), 225- 231.
Baisch, M.J., Lundeen, S.P., & Murphy, M.K. (2011). Evidence-based research on the value of school nurse in an urban school system. Journal of School Health, 81(2), 74-80. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1746-1561.2010.00563.x/abstract
Engelke, M., Guttu, M., Warren, M., & Swanson, M. (2008). School nurse case management for children with chronic illness: Health, academic, and quality of life outcomes. The Journal of School Nursing, 24(4), 205-214.
Fauteux, N. (2011). Unlocking the Potential of School Nursing: Keeping Children Healthy, In School, and Ready to Learn. Charting Nursing’s Future, 14, 1-8. Retrieved from http://www.rwjf.org/files/research/cnf14.pdf
Levy, M., Heffner, B, Stewart, T., & Beeman, G. (2006). The efficacy of asthma case management in an urban school district in reducing school absences and hospitalizations for asthma. Journal of School Health, 76(6), 320-324
Puskar, K. & Bernardo, L. (2007). Mental health and academic achievement: Role of school nurses. Journal of Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, 12(4), 215-223.