Student Well-Being Letter to the Editor

Schools Need Registered Nurses

April 16, 2019 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

It was disappointing, but not surprising, to read how many children in this country attend a school without a full-time, trained health professional (“1.7 Million Students Attend Schools With Police But No Counselors, New Data Show,” March 4, 2019). We are well past the point where all a school nurse does is administer medications and wait with ill or injured students until their parents arrive.

Today, school nurses are critical to students’ academic success and their physical and mental well-being. As the leading organization representing school nurses, the National Association of School Nurses believes that every school in the country should have at least one registered school nurse in the building all day, every day.

The American Civil Liberties Union report covered in the story focuses on school-based mental-health providers. NASN applauds the report for recognizing school nurses on school-based mental-health teams. School nurses are critical to the school mental-health team as they help address and reduce the stigma of a behavioral health diagnosis, decrease fragmentation of care, and remove barriers to behavioral health services.

Because of their regular access to students, school nurses are uniquely qualified to help assess and address the behavioral and mental-health needs of children of all ages. Beyond the dearth of counselors and professionals the ACLU highlights, fewer than 40 percent of schools meet even the modest goal of one full-time school nurse. If we are serious about students’ success—that can’t just be reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic—it has to be a holistic approach that addresses the physical and mental well-being of children as well as their academic efforts.

Donna Mazyck

Executive Director

National Association of School Nurses

Silver Spring, Md.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the April 17, 2019 edition of Education Week as Schools Need Registered Nurses

Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Student Well-Being Opinion What 9/11 Can Teach Us Today
We can only guess at what weighs on other people. Hurts and wounds are not always visible on the outside.
Pamela Cantor
1 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Student Well-Being Opinion Educators, Be Future-Ready, But Don’t Ignore the Present
Being ready for what lies ahead is important, but we also need to gain a better understanding of the here and now.
5 min read
shutterstock 226918177
Student Well-Being Opinion How to Prioritize Student Well-Being This Year
Use the Student Thriving Index to find out where your kids stand. Because you cannot manage what you cannot measure.
2 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Student Well-Being Spotlight Spotlight on Supporting Teachers & Students
In this Spotlight, evaluate your district and what supports your schools offer, assess attendance policies to avoid burnout, and more