May 9 is National School Nurse Day
By Robert McNeely
School nursing requires much more than just than applying a band aid on a student’s scraped knee. Ask any student or teacher and they’ll tell you school nurses are more than a human first-aid kit, which is why they’re being honored for their commitment to health and safety on National School Nurse Day (NSND). NSND recognizes the contributions and commitments nurses make to their schools.
School nurses’ are vital to the success of the school because they keep students and staff healthy and happy which allows the school to run at a maximum level of effectiveness. This year’s NND theme, “Advocacy, Access, Achievement: Making the Connection,” reflects that focus.
Unfortunately, nurses are being let go across the nation and schools are left to share nurses across districts, putting stress on nursing staff who are stretched thin, and classroom teachers who often have to pick up the slack without the necessary expertise. Every school should be equipped with a school nurse because of the care, compassion, knowledge, and dedication they bring everyday to maintaining the health of the students and staff.
Below are the stories of NEA members Carmen Hill and Peggy Strum-Vanderpool, two nurses with more than 80 years of experience between them, and how they are trying to cope with looming nursing program budget cuts while still providing quality care to the students and staff around them. They says being a school nurse is more than just a job – it’s the ability to help others when they need it the most.