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National School Nurse Day May 11, 2016
Nurse Lofton assessing a student
Nurse Lofton assessing a student


Five Ways a School Nurse Benefits the School

1. 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

2. Academics 

  • School Nurses enable better performance, which also contributes to reducing drop-out rates.

3. 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

 4. 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

5.  Accountability

  • 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 Nurse Responsibilities: 

  • 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

References 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 Specialis