Oh How I Miss School Nurses

School nurses are becoming a thing of the past in many schools across the country. With this being one of the top reasons teachers marched on our state's capital last week, I felt compelled to write about how very very important school nurses are to our community. Nurses Announcements Archive


You are reading page 2 of Oh How I Miss School Nurses

Specializes in Med/Surg, Emergency Room, School Nurse.

I have recently became a school nurse, and I hadn't realized that some schools don't have a nurse just a health coordinator who took a class on how to give medication. The school I now work at had not had a nurse on their staff for over 10 years from my understanding.

This year I have sent students out for broken bones, concussions, caught an appendicitis... that is just some of the things that has happened since I have been here. I don't have any special needs students here or any that take medication on a regular basis here at the school, but I have a plethora of students with multiple allergies some that carry epi pens on themselves and have back ups in the clinic (knock on wood never had to use any. We have teachers with medical problems one of which I have nitro for in my cabinet.

Before I came on I was told that students would come down to take naps just to get out of class, if a student just said they didn't feel good they were sent home. Since I have started attendance has been better, no more sleeping students in the clinic unless they are sick after all this is a private school and they are actually paying for their education at least their parents are.

Sorry for Rambling... my point was that I can't image a school without having a full time nurse on board. Whether it be a LPN, RN, BSN, MSN... someone trained with medical knowledge is better than someone with out or no one at all!


247 Posts

Specializes in CPN.

After two years working as a school nurse in a middle school, I know how valuable this role is. I just wish my school (and others) felt the same way! I've responded to a couple LOCs, managed a multitude of asthma attacks, administered epinephrine to a new onset food allergy anaphylaxis case (I had fought to get Epipens in our schools for such cases just the previous year), treated lacerations that had teachers running to call 911 (not necessary), called 911 (after I couldn't get a hold of parents for awhile) for a student with back pain and an ICE COLD right arm (was reprimanded for this because the principal thought it was unnecessary), taken care of students with panic attacks, T1D with glucose of 23, a different T1D with glucose over 500 with nausea, and even found out about and reported on blatant grooming for a possible human trafficking situation. I have worked with the local county health department to track outbreaks of flu-like illnesses. I have spent hours educating students on how to take care of themselves when they are sick. I've taught poor teen girls that cramps that make them vomit and cry aren't "normal" and that doctors can help treat that. I have fought for students to be able to maintain their rights within the classroom. I have dealt with cases of medical neglect that the principal would have brushed off. And I have tried with all my might to teach those around me that preventing emergencies is a better alternative to "just call 911."

School nurses are SO much more than bandaids and ice packs. When given the autonomy, support, and resources, we can make a huge difference in the lives of children and their education, and set them up on a lifetime of better health awareness.

In other words, THANK YOU, for seeing the value in our position!


17 Posts

I currently work to place nurses in the schools for both the 1:1 cases as well as the "school nurse" role, which I call a district nurse since they are usually placed at 2-3 schools, not just one. Having VN's/PN's in the schools to help in the health office seems to be beneficial when the RN's are limited. However, they are limited to working in the health office under the supervision of the RN. When I was a school nurse, I had two schools that I worked between. I did have the opportunity to do some teaching regarding some health concerns, including hand washing and growth & development through teen years. However, this time was always limited due to the other duties. By limiting the time of the nurse in the school system, the exposure to nursing (real nursing) at an early age is being limited. I remember my first exposure to nursing was my school nurse who came into the classroom (at least annually) for teaching on health issues. She was one who inspired me to be a nurse. Now the school nurses' time seems to be limited to completing assessments to meet the standard requirements and for IEP/504 needs. The health clerk or LVN/LPN is often the one dealing with the day to day needs of the students.

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