Every day in schools across the country, school nurses fight a common misconception — that we’re just here for boo-boos and bandages.
While the practice of school nursing is often misunderstood by parents, educators, legislators, and other health professionals, rest assured that professional school nurses are an essential component of both our nation’s health care continuum and achieving the goals of student learning and academic achievement.
Yes, schools exist for the purpose of education, but without professional nursing staff on site to monitor and maintain student health, educational efforts can falter. The relationship between student health and academic achievement is inherently conjoined. Former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders said it best:
“You can’t educate people that are not healthy. But you certainly can’t keep them healthy if they’re not educated.”
Professional school nurses are essential in identifying and addressing health issues which impact school performance. There is a plethora of evidence and case study data proving that the work of dedicated, on-site registered school nurses increases attendance and instructional time, promotes safety, decreases emergency and crisis management response times, and provides so many additional health and educational benefits.