66: Frontline Forces: Return to School
SEE YOU NOW has always focused on the incredible stories of nurse-led health innovation and we’re pleased to introduce a new series — Frontline Forces documenting the pandemic response of frontline nurses to the overwhelming challenges and uncertainty and the changing nature of nursing in the midst of evolving circumstances nurses are facing at this point in the pandemic.
School nurses are on the frontlines of community and public health. They play a critical role in the health, wellbeing, and readiness to learn for children around the world. And today –they are guiding schools, families, local officials, and public health departments through a global pandemic unlike anything seen in the past 100 years. Yet even before the pandemic school nurses were overtasked, under-resourced, and hard to find.
Despite recommendations from The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National School Nurses Association of having at least one registered nurse in every school, fewer than 40% of American public schools have a full-time nurse. COVID-19 has magnified the contribution of school nurses and the need for every student to have access to school nurses and each school district to have a fully funded, comprehensive health services program.
We checked in with school nurse Liz Pray, MSN-Ed, RN, NCSN in Washington State to learn about the role of a school nurse during a pandemic, how she is experiencing this moment, learning from and gaining strength from the support of her national school nursing community, and why school nurses are more important and essential than ever.
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