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Youth health issues increasing as the average Illinois school nurse serves 2,900 students

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by NRSKarenRN NRSKarenRN, BSN (Guide) Guide Expert Nurse

NRSKarenRN has 40 years experience as a BSN and works as a Registered Nurse, Home Health.

105 Likes; 5 Followers; 7 Articles; 159,042 Visitors; 14,358 Posts

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Found at Chicago Tribune, Southtown news

Great article with multiple examples how Certified School Nurses saved lives of students, yet due to budget being replaced by health aides, while students increasingly having serious medical conditions needing RN assessment and intervention.  Karen

So much more than Band-Aids: Youth health issues increasing as the average Illinois school nurse serves 2,900 students
 

Quote

 

....District 218 bucks the current trend in Illinois to substitute school certified nurses with registered nurses, health aides or, in some cases, even a secretary who has been trained in CPR.

“We’re seeing an increase each year in the number of students with health issues,” Featherstone said. “We’re definitely seeing an increase in the number of diabetics and students with other disease processes.”

In addition to tending to the needs of students with chronic or acute conditions, nurses also make sure procedures, policies and individual education processes for special needs students are followed.

...The National Education Association estimates there is 1 school nurse for every 2,893 students in Illinois, compared with 1 for every 275 students in Vermont or 1 for every 1,022 students in Indiana.

Vollinger said the trend now is to not call it the “nurse’s office” but rather “health services” because it takes out the assumption that the person sitting at the desk is a nurse.....

 

 

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OldDude works as a School Nurse.

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I'm wondering when certified teachers are going to be replaced with "education advocates" as a way to cut the budget. That way the district can continue to buy new football equipment every year.

I can't even associate "one nurse" and "2900 students" as being relevant to each other...unless you conjure up the story of Jesus feeding 4000 people with 7 loaves of bread and a few small fish.

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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35 minutes ago, OldDude said:

I can't even associate "one nurse" and "2900 students" as being relevant to each other...unless you conjure up the story of Jesus feeding 4000 people with 7 loaves of bread and a few small fish.

It's why I left the high school where I had nice friends and four beds. 2700 coming in and no relief in sight, just me and my highly qualified aide. It's real, and in RJ Junior's school that nurse has 3K kids and a not-so-qualified aide. She leaves out mints, band aids, and pads on a help-yourself, honor system - she doesn't even chart those visits. 

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157 Likes; 1 Follower; 4,490 Visitors; 428 Posts

The more places that let this kind of thing explode into crazy numbers, the more likely I feel like it'll happen closer to me.  This sorta thing makes me so nervous!

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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6 hours ago, NRSKarenRN said:

School Nurse Workload: Staffing for Safe Care - National Association of School Nurses

PA ratio 1,500 children/ 1 Certified School Registered Nurse

NASN at one point was trying to move to an acuity model. It's unrealistic either way. A long time ago it was one RN to 750 kids. I wish we could work our way back there. The sad reality is that at the time I left the district where I would have been "gifted" with 300 more students the Health Services budget was being cut (bad management by the manager plus shortfall). AND the district KNEW that the school which had been built to hold 2400 was over capacity AND did not bond a new HS in the package the previous year. The bond would have built a new school within 3 years. 

So we're overcrowded and you're telling me there is no money. And then we're supposed to feel "grateful" that we even have a nurse in a building that houses the equivalent of a small town? 

SMH. 

 I've said it before - it will take a kid dying before districts address that problem.

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kidzcare has 5 years experience.

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On 2/19/2019 at 9:42 AM, OldDude said:

I'm wondering when certified teachers are going to be replaced with "education advocates" as a way to cut the budget. That way the district can continue to buy new football equipment every year.

 

I love this as a comparison

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tining has 23 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a School Nurse.

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1500 : me - middle school, they pack them in like sardines and wonder why the flu season is bad.

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WineRN has 4 years experience.

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My best friend is a social worker in the Chicago Public school system. One of her high schools has over 2200 kids and only a part time nurse who doesn't see students, only attends meetings and then leaves. I can't even imagine signing a 504 on a student I've never met. 

The rest of the time the front desk staff just take their temp and offer to let them use the phone to go home. 

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MrNurse(x2) has 28 years experience as a ADN and works as a RN.

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I hate to put it this succinctly, but as long as nurses are willing to accept these positions for the low pay and weighty risk to license in exchange for gravy hours (compared to every other nursing position) they will continue to increase the ratios. One of the main reasons LTC ratios in my area have gotten better was nurses not taking offered positions due to staffing. I understand the allure of school nursing for those who have gotten beyond the money issue, and I work in a mandated ratio state, but I would never put my license in jeopardy that way. The state will look for the easiest scapegoat and that is, in this case, the nurse.

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BiscuitRN has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a School Nurse.

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OOOH this hits close to home.  I'm a 218 alumni.  I will mention that their football coaches (who work during the day as study hall monitors) are making 6 figures, so it's not a low budget issue...just a poor budgeting issue.  Priorities, am I right?

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