Martha Dewey Bergren, editor of The Journal of School Nursing, interviews author Felesia Bowen to discuss the article "Education is a Social Determinant of Health: School Nurses Level the Playing Field."
You can learn more about this article by reading the abstract below and listening to the podcast.
Each of the five social determinants of health (economics, education, healthcare, the built environment, social and community context) is equally important, however, the most powerful determinant of health is education. Education is directly correlated with good health and social mobility (Zajacova & Lawrence, 2018); it is the great equalizer. Unlike grocery stores, hospitals, and clinics, schools exist in all communities, and most provide resources beyond education for children and their families. School is where hungry children eat and access all levels of health (primary, preventive, acute, and chronic) dental, mental health, and rehabilitative services. These services are coordinated and sometimes provided by school nurses. School nurses moderate the effects of poor social determinants of health through health screening, disease surveillance, care coordination, and social service referrals. Their actions facilitate school attendance and optimal learning. For many children, the school nurse is their only access to a healthcare provider, yet research findings from Gratz et al. (2023) remind us that disparities in students' access to a school nurse persist.