“'In today’s world, students have complex needs,' said Donna Mazyck, head of the National Association of School Nurses. She noted that in the past, kids with health problems might not make it to school, or they might end up in a “special” school. Now kids with issues – from autism, to hearing loss, to diabetes, to more serious diseases, like cancer – are mainstreamed into public schools. That’s happened because of state and federal laws, and because parents have demanded it." Nurses' new roles reflect complex health needs.
Sadly, NC hasn't come close to meeting the national standard nurse-to-student ratio of 1:750 anytime in the past decade, despite the NCGA setting that as goal in 2004. Funding for school nurses has been stalled since the 2008 recession, despite more families losing health insurance from jobs and social safety net programs. The NCGA commissioned a report on this issue 18 months ago; its findings were finally presented to committee on April 9, after several postponements. They have yet to be considered and acted on. You can read the report here.
Read more about school nurses in NC:
- What is the right number of school nurses for NC?
- Legislators delay again on NC school nurses report
- School nurses - NC Roadmap 2025.
If you're a parent, does your child's school have a school nurse? Do you think this is an important issue to support and adequately fund with tax dollars? Let your NCGA legislators know what you think before the May session. Ask your NCGA and school board candidates where they stand on this issue. Use your voice and your VOTE!