Washington, DC – Today on National School Nurse Day, Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-01) reintroduced her Nurses for Under-Resourced Schools Everywhere (NURSE) Act, legislation that would help public elementary and secondary schools hire registered nurses by creating a grant program at the U.S. Department of Education. According to the National Association of School Nurses, only 39.3% of schools employ full-time school nurses, even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that more than 40% of school-aged children and adolescents have at least one chronic health condition.
“All too often, when school districts like Clark County’s are forced to make the most of meager funding and staffing shortages, it is the school nurse who is overlooked, yet registered school nurses play a critical role in our children’s learning and success. This legislation would help provide resources for schools to invest in public health and make sure our students have the support they need to thrive,” said Rep. Titus.
Specifically, the legislation would:
- Allow local educational authorities (LEAs) to apply for a Department of Education grant to give high-need schools the ability to hire and retain more school nurses.
- Eligible LEAs in this case would be those with at least 20% of their student body qualifying for low-cost or free lunches.
“We are thrilled that Representative Titus has re-introduced the Nurses for Under-Resourced Schools Everywhere Act (NURSE Act) on School Nurse Day, a day that celebrates the contributions of school nurses to children and their academic success,” said Linda Mendonça, President of the National Association of School Nurses. “It is important that children have their physical and behavioral healthcare needs met at school, particularly in case of an emergency. Every school should have a school nurse on staff every day. Passage of the NURSE Act is the first step to achieving student health equity.”
“As educator and educator support personnel shortages ravage schools across the nation, the National Education Association is pleased that Rep. Titus is re-introducing the Nurses for Under-Resourced Schools Everywhere (NURSE) Act. It is vital that public schools and the students they serve have a school nurse to support the health and wellness of their students, and the school overall. In particular, this measure focuses on those schools serving communities and the families that face economic challenges, where students might not have access to healthcare supports, and where school nurses are vital. Every student, regardless of zip code, deserves a healthy and caring environment to learn and thrive,” said Marc Egan, Director, Government Relations for the National Education Association.