School Nurses Highlighted in President Biden’s National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
Silver Spring, MD, March 3, 2022—The White House yesterday released its National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, a roadmap to help the U.S. move America forward safely in fighting COVID-19, to a time when the pandemic does not disrupt daily life, but becomes something that we can protect against, prepare for, and prevent. The plan outlines activities and investments that will be needed in the fight against the COIVD-19 pandemic.
The National Association of School Nurses applauds the plan’s continued investments in public health infrastructure, including investments so schools can hire additional school nurses. As the plan states, “As demonstrated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, school nurses are invaluable assets to our school communities, advancing the health and safety needs of students and families in the pandemic and far beyond.”
Investments in school health services and school nurses feature prominently in the preparedness plan, including a call for:
- Continuing expansion of the public health and health care workforce in Tribal communities including investment by the Indian Health Services (HIS) to hire school nurses that can provide critical testing, contact tracing, case management, vaccination and overall school health support to Bureau of Indian Education K-12 schools;
- Using of American Rescue Plan funds in the recruiting, hiring, and training of public health workers, including investing in the expansion of nurses in schools, and a pledge to continue working with academic and public health communities to expand this investment;
- Launching of an expanded program to prevent burnout and support mental health and well-being in the healthcare workforce;
- Supporting state, local, and Tribal governments as well as school districts to enhance indoor air quality, including ventilation improvements and upgrades using American Rescue Plan funds;
- Ensuring that schools have access to funding, tests, guidance, and supplies they need to stay open.
“NASN is pleased that President Biden’s National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan highlights the critical role that school nurses and school health services play in keeping our nation’s children healthy and safe, and in helping schools remain safely open,” said Donna Mazyck, MS, RN, NCSN, CAE, FNASN, executive director of NASN.
The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) is a nonprofit specialty nursing organization, organized in 1968 and incorporated in 1977, representing school nurses exclusively. NASN has close to 18,000 members and 50 affiliates, including the District of Columbia and overseas. The mission of NASN is to optimize student health and learning by advancing the practice of school nursing. To learn more about NASN, please visit us on the Web at www.nasn.org or call 866-627-6767.
National Association of School Nurses