School Nurse Shortage in the U.S.

According to the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), in 2018, more than 60% of schools did not employ a full- or part-time nurse.

Tighter school budgets show institutions investing money in more teachers over nurses, but NASN’s President, Laurie Combe, suggests that having full-nurses on staff can save money in the long run like as seen in Massachusetts.

From District Administration:

“When a nurse isn’t present, the care of students is left to unlicensed personnel who don’t have the education or training to address the complex health conditions in schools, which puts those students at risk,” says Laurie G. Combe, NASN president.

This year, more than 700 of New York City’s 2,000 schools are going to a partial or full day without a nurse on-site, while shortages in Chicago and Los Angeles have led to teacher strikes, according to published reports. The Chicago Public Schools strike ended when leaders agreed to employ a nurse at every school five days per week.

Some school districts have actually turned to outside providers, such as Beacon Health System (serving IN and MI), to provide school nursing services that train and support nursing staff.