Student Well-Being Collection

The State of School Health Workers

Many school health workers say they will likely leave their jobs in the next two years, according to a survey by the EdWeek Research Center. The most common reasons are that they could get higher salaries elsewhere, they don’t have enough support from administrators, and their workloads are too high. School nurses say they’re experiencing an unprecedented influx of student mental health needs, and yet they’re often tapped with covering multiple school sites and receive little professional development. In this special package of stories, Education Week examines how schools are dealing with these challenges as they struggle to meet the needs of today’s students.

School nurses Heidi Bakke, left, and Molly Cavey walk a student to their office while working at Wilson Elementary School on Sept. 12, 2019, in Janesville, Wis.
School nurses walk a student to their office at Wilson Elementary in Janesville, Wis., back in 2019. Since then, the pressures on school health workers have mounted, prompting some to consider quitting their jobs.
Anthony Wahl/The Janesville Gazette via AP
School & District Management From Our Research Center 'It’s So Overwhelming': Demands on School Health Workers Are Making Them Want to Quit
A new national survey sheds light on the working conditions of school nurses, school psychologists, and other health workers.
Madeline Will, June 13, 2023
8 min read
People with Pride flags stand outside Saticoy Elementary School in Los Angeles on June 2, 2023. Police officers separated groups of protesters and counter-protesters outside the elementary school that has become a flashpoint for Pride month events across California.
People with Pride flags stand outside Saticoy Elementary School in Los Angeles on June 2, 2023.
Jae C. Hong/AP
Professional Development From Our Research Center School Health Staff Wonder: How Do You Help LGBTQ+ Students in a ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Era?
Nearly 4 in 10 school-based health workers said they'd benefit from more professional development on working with LGBTQ+ students.
Lauraine Langreo, June 13, 2023
5 min read
Sexual health teaching, sex education lesson at school, human sexuality, emotional relations and responsibilities abstract metaphor
Visual Generation/iStock/Getty Images
Curriculum From Our Research Center Sex Education's Shortcomings Leave Students 'in the Dark'
School nurses, psychologists, counselors, and other health workers give low marks to their district or school's sex education curriculum.
Madeline Will, June 15, 2023
8 min read
Joe Solomon, co-director of Charleston-based Solutions Oriented Addiction Response, holds a dose of the opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Charleston in Charleston, W.Va., on Sept. 6, 2022. He and other organizers were preparing for the third annual "Save a Life" day event where thousands of doses of Narcan were distributed throughout all of West Virginia's 55 counties.
A dose of the opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan is shown here.
Leah Willingham/AP
Student Well-Being From Our Research Center Schools Face Big Challenges in Curbing Students' Substance Abuse
Most school health workers report seeing an increase in the number of students using marijuana or vaping products.
Lauraine Langreo, June 19, 2023
4 min read
Vials of Naloxone opioid overdose medication.
Student Well-Being Q&A Why This District Equips High School Students With Naloxone
Addressing student substance abuse should be a collaboration between schools and the community, according to a district leader.
Lauraine Langreo, June 23, 2023
4 min read
Illustration of various contraceptive methods.
Student Well-Being From Our Research Center For Condoms and Contraceptives for Teens, Most Schools Are Not a Source
A new national survey shows that sexual and reproductive health services are mostly unavailable in schools.
Madeline Will, June 23, 2023
6 min read

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