Washington State School Nurse leaders, Lynn Nelson and Tessa McIlraith highlight that school nurses on the front lines of infectious disease surveillance. Lynn and Tessa are sounding the alarm on the need for appropriate and safe staffing for school nurses in Washington schools. The School Nurse Corps bill is currently being considered in the Washington State legislature. Lynn and Tessa write a compelling plea to properly fund school nursing services. A link to their excellent article is below:
Here is the text for the petition being circulated to demand Senators in Washington State include fund the School Nurse Corps bill that is included in the budget from the House of Representatives.
Ask Senators to Match House Funding for School Nurses
In its budget, the Washington State House of Representatives included $1.7 million in new funding for the School Nurse Corps – now it’s time to ask the Senate to do the same.
School nurses are critical to ensuring K-12 students are healthy and ready to learn.
For two decades, the School Nurse Corps has provided school nurse services to our state’s smallest, rural school districts. The program was started in 1999, but has never received additional funding – meaning the number of school nurse hours have declined significantly as the number of student health conditions and nursing care plans have increased dramatically.
Yet, many schools do not have a school nurse, and the School Nurse Corps ensures that school staff is training in emergency response and student care plans to keep kids safe even when there is no medical personnel on-site.
It’s time to put kids first by asking the Senate to match the House budget by funding an additional $1.7 million to for the School Nurse Corps.
Lynn Nelson, MSN, RN is a member of WSNA’s Legislative & Health Policy Council. Tessa McIlraith is the Legislative Chair for the School Nurse Organization of Washington and a practicing school nurse.