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Why School Nurses Have One of the Most Difficult Jobs

Why School Nurses Have One of the Most Difficult Jobs

Nurse attorney Edie Brous has worked with many school nurses over the years and in her experience, she says that "school nursing just might be the most difficult and challenging specialty in the profession today.”

Being a school nurse is a complex role that Brous says in her post both the public and the nursing community are not understanding of.

"Elected officials and school administrators making economic decisions to cut funding for school nurses miss this simple fact: School nurses save lives,” Brous says.

But their battle is one that is seldom heard about by the public as they quietly do their job of caring for the complex medical, social, economic and emotional problems of students

"Most nurses also don't understand the unique pressures school nurses face,” Brous says.

School nurses "are more likely to report to a non-clinical person who doesn't understand nursing law or scope of practice restrictions. They are less likely to have the clinical resources or tools they need to do the job effectively or to be advised of practice standard changes. They work in isolation and cannot just go down the hall to get another opinion or assistance. If they are represented by a union, it is likely to be a collective bargaining unit that also does not understand the particular needs of nurses.”

School nurses are under-acknowledged for the role they have in helping students thrive and survive.

"How many kids didn't drop out of school because a relationship with a school nurse gave them what they needed to keep going? How many more graduates were there because school nurses improved attendance rates? How many children, because of a school nurse, obtained the counseling or therapy they needed before it was too late to intervene?”

"We owe a debt to those front line professionals who face enormous political, bureaucratic, financial and regulatory pressures in caring for this country's children. It is a debt that cannot be measured or ever repaid in dollars.”

Happy National School Nurse Day to all of our school nurse readers today.

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Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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