In a survey of nearly 8,000 school nurses, almost half (45%) reported symptoms of at least one adverse mental health condition in the two weeks prior to completing the survey in March 2022. The CDC collaborated with NASN and the National Association of State School Nurse Consultants (NASSNC) to distribute the 121-item survey to school nurses in the U.S. (see survey results below)
Overwhelmingly, school nurse respondents from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, tribal nations, and U.S. territories reported work-related stressors such as feeling bullied, threatened or harassed since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. Other stressors included experiencing stigma or discrimination and receiving job-related threats.
These survey findings highlight opportunities to improve supportive policies and practices to reduce workplace stressors and increase workplace supports for school nurses. "Throughout the pandemic, headlines from news stories and posts in discussion forums have told a story of the taxing school nurse experience. We have read about the many struggles school nurses have faced in their attempts to keep students, families, and communities safe," says NASN Executive Director Donna Mazyck, MS, RN, NCSN, CAE.
It is time that we address the mental health and wellness of the school nurses
who have so valiantly cared for our nation's school children and staff.
"NASN is grateful for the CDC's efforts to quantify the mental health impact of these workplace stressors and lack of support. School nurses support their students' mental health through the early identification of concerns, therapeutic presence, training students to use coping strategies, and care coordination to ensure students' access to appropriate mental health services. It is time that we address the mental health and wellness of the school nurses who have so valiantly cared for our nation's school children and staff," Mazyck says.