By Christine Simon-Waterman
The author is president of the Maryland Nurses Affiliation.
Virtually everybody remembers being within the college nurse’s workplace when rising up. College nurses had been there to are inclined to the scrapes, abdomen aches, and minor diseases which might be simply a part of childhood.
However policymakers know that faculty nurses do rather more than that. College nurses are the spine of the well being care providers that guarantee college students can keep at school and be taught. When the Maryland Normal Meeting handed the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, funding was designated for well being providers with the best precedence positioned on supporting extra full-time college nurses in high-poverty faculties.
The Maryland Nurses Affiliation is anxious by latest reviews that the Baltimore Metropolis Public Colleges shouldn’t be increasing its variety of full-time college nurses with its Blueprint funding, and this downside might probably be occurring in different jurisdictions. College students all over the place are more and more dealing with well being crises. One-fourth of kids have a power illness, and the numbers are rising. Extra college students are grappling with behavioral well being challenges.
Between 2007 and 2018, youth suicide deaths rose by 21% in Maryland. Now within the aftermath of the pandemic, kids are dealing with even larger threat for all sorts of well being dangers, which can compromise their potential to be taught and thrive at school.
This previous session, the Maryland Nurses Affiliation supported laws (HB 1004/SB 856) which might have ensured there could be a nurse in each college. And that purpose was simply a place to begin.
Many faculties want multiple nurse if the varsity is massive or has a scholar physique with a excessive price of power illnesses and different diseases. The invoice didn’t transfer ahead, however it raised the visibility of the varsity nursing scarcity.
Our hope is that the Blueprint funding for varsity well being can be utilized for its meant goal of preserving college students wholesome. The funding is there to make actual progress. As a state, we collectively can work collectively to assist the implementation of the varsity well being funding in each jurisdiction. The college nurse’s workplace ought to by no means be empty for any scholar, notably for these dwelling in communities dealing with the challenges created by poverty.