Everyone benefits from having enough certified school nurses: students are better able to learn with their health needs met, parents have peace of mind, teachers have healthier students and backup for student health issues, and nurses have more manageable caseloads. Local association members can work with the UniServ field rep to support school nurses:
- Determine whether staffing is up to nurses' most recent Nursing Service Plan, and advocate for more staffing if it is not.
- Advocate for hiring more certified school nurses, or at least registered nurses, rather than LPNs or UAPs.
- Enlist parents, who are natural allies, in advocating for adequate nurse staffing.
- Support proposed bill A-4334, proposed in September by Assemblywoman Marlene Caride, to reinstate education requirements reduced last summer.
- Support nurses' efforts to educate policy makers of the risks of providing nursing care in the school that does not meet professional standards of care.
For More information
The article “Legal Aspects of School Nursing” by Julia Lechtenberg, can be found in the April 2009 edition of School Health Alert. It details legal liabilities affecting school nurses and practical ways to limit them. It is easily found by searching the title and author on an internet search engine.
Go to nasn.org for position papers on nurse responsibilities for disabilities treatment, medication administration and other topics.
See the NJEA news article, “Bill would restore school nurse certification requirements.”