So excited to share the publication of my first news magazine Op-Ed! Thank you Dara Kass, MD for inviting me to collaborate on this piece!
With many American schools being asked to bring students back for face-to-face learning, we must confront a frightening yet imminent reality: Schools are the next frontline of COVID-19—and school nurses are the first responders.
Are school nurses prepared for the reality of their new role fighting a global pandemic? School safety has been precarious at best prior to this pandemic, and now it does feel that we are playing Russian roulette with our students and staff.
In a few short weeks, we will ask school nurses to go alone into completely unpredictable environments and make medical decisions without adequate policies, procedures, testing infrastructure and personal protective equipment. Consider the state of school nursing in America. More than 60 percent of U.S. schools lack a full-time nurse. In many of these schools, there is either a part-time, voluntary or no school nurse. In schools fortunate enough to have a full-time school nurse, many had untenable caseloads prior to this pandemic, let alone now.
Published by Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN
Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN, is a Nationally Certified School Nurse (NCSN), currently in her 22nd year as a New Jersey school nurse in the Camden City School District. Robin is the Director for New Jersey to the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) Board. She is proud to be a Johnson & Johnson School Health Leadership Fellow and past Program Mentor. Robin is the honored recipient of multiple awards for her work in school nursing and population health. These awards include, 2019 and 2020 National Association of School Nurses President’s Award, 2018 NCSN School Nurse of the Year, 2017 Johnson & Johnson School Nurse of the Year, and the New Jersey Department of Health 2017 Population Health Hero Award. Robin serves as faculty in the School Nurse Certificate Program at Rutgers University-Camden School of Nursing, where she teaches the next generation of school nurses. She was presented the 2018 Rutgers University – Camden Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award for Part-time Faculty. Robin writes a weekly blog called The Relentless School Nurse. She also writes a monthly column in My American Nurse, the official journal of the American Nurses Association. Robin’s work is included as a case study in The Future of Nursing Report 2020-2030. You can follow Robin on Twitter at @RobinCogan.
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