National School Nurse Day

School nurse giving inhaler to asthmatic student

CDC Healthy Schools recognizes the role school nurses play in providing school health services – today and every day. It is important for every school to have a school nurse on staff.

Research shows that students learn best when they are healthy, safe and feel connected to their school. School nurses play an important role in the health of students and can provide them with daily and emergency health care support during the school day. This can help students avoid unnecessary absences and reach their full academic potential.

The Role of School Nurses

School nurses and other school health services staff can help all students with preventive care such as providing flu shots, conducting vision and hearing screenings, and addressing acute and emergency care needs such as injuries and illnesses requiring short-term or immediate attention. These trained professionals can also help parents get uninsured students enrolled in an insurance plan.

Students playing soccer

School health services is part of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model (WSCC), which promotes a collaborative approach designed to improve learning and health in our nation’s schools.

School nurses are particularly important for students with chronic health conditions like food allergies, diabetes, and uncontrolled asthma. Some conditions can lead to higher rates of students being absent from school, putting them at risk for lower academic achievement. For these students, school nurses and other health services staff play a large role in the daily management of their conditions. A school nurse can coordinate care between the parents and the child’s health care provider so that they can stay healthy and ready to learn.

How You Can Help Increase Awareness About School Health Services

Increasing recognition of the essential role of nurses and other school health services staff within the educational setting is important for many reasons. Here are a few points to help you bring awareness to the benefits of having school health services:

  • For every $1 spent on school nursing, society saves $2.20 from keeping students out of the emergency room and lost productivity at work for parents.
  • Parents should be provided with information about their child’s school-based health programs.
  • Having adequate school health services may be even more important in underserved communities where rates of children with chronic conditions, like uncontrolled asthma, are usually much higher.

For More Information

CDC Healthy Schools has launched new Web pages focused on school health services and the management of chronic conditions in schools. You can learn more and access many new resources including fact sheets and research briefs on the topic at the Healthy Schools website.