A School Nurse in Every School

I received an email from a fellow school nurse in Kanawha County this week that an impromptu meeting was called by the House Education Committee in Charleston. Out of this meeting, HB 4735 was produced and sent to the Finance Committee. Why am I, someone who tends to stay out of political conversations, telling you this? Because the bill produced was to ensure that a every school in our wonderful state has a nurse.

This is huge! This is what we school nurses have been asking for a very long time. We are a group of professionals who have been pulling data to prove our need for a school nurse in every school. Yes, I know our schools need a lot more than just a school nurse right now. But with this opportunity up in legislature right now, we should encourage our leaders to do what they can to better our schools.

I could sit here and list all the things school nurses do on any given day, but I still don’t think I could capture the full scale of how we impact schools. And most of our school nurses are covering two or more schools. There are a lot of times nurses are triaging students via phone on their way between schools. Many times, when the school nurse is at one of their other schools, the school depends on a person with no medical background to manage the kids.

When we’re lucky, we have an LPN at our schools to help out when we aren’t there. While we love our LPNs, that isn’t a fix-all to needing a school nurse in every school. By practice, LPNs are limited in what they can do without RN supervision. Another barrier is that, most often, our LPNs are used as aides for students who have special health needs. To depend on them to cover clinics while the school nurse is out of the building pulls them away from their kiddos that need that extra assistance.

So your assignment for the week? Call the Finance Committee Chairman, Eric Householder, and ask that HB 4735 be put on the agenda. And then call your legislators in Charleston and tell them how important you think it is that every school in WV have a certified school nurse all day every day.

Eric Householder, Finance Committee Chairman

Not sure who your legislators are? No worries, click HERE! You can select the Senate or House tabs along the top to find out which district you are in and who to contact for that district.

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