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Dear Congressperson or Senator,
I am writing to urge you to Co-Sponsor the Nurses for Under-Resourced Schools Everywhere (NURSE Act), HR 3197. As a school nurse, I know firsthand that to optimize student health, safety, and learning, a professional registered school nurse must be present in every school all day, every day.
The NURSE Act would help Title I public elementary and secondary schools hire registered nurses by creating a grant program through the U.S. Department of Education.
National data indicates 39 percent of public schools have a school nurse all day, every day, while another 35 percent have a school nurse who works part-time in one or more schools. Wide-ratio disparities exist from state to state, within states and school districts, and between urban and rural schools.
Today’s students face more medically complex conditions and chronic health illnesses – including asthma, diabetes, food allergies, obesity, and mental health and behavioral issues – which require the knowledge, assessment skills, and judgment of a school nurse to provide management of these lifelong conditions.
School nurses operate in what some have termed the “Hidden Health Care System.” In 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau reported 5.6 percent of children under 19 (4.3 million) were uninsured. For many of our nation’s children, the school nurse is the sole provider of access to health care. This makes the role of school nurses even more critical.
The American Nurses Association has reported that when there is no registered nurse on the school premises, the responsibility to administer the necessary medications and treatments, and to appropriately monitor children’s health issues, fall on the shoulders of administrators, educators, and staff, who are ill‐prepared to perform these tasks.
Please ensure that our children are safe, healthy and ready to learn by Co-Sponsoring the NURSE Act. Sincerely,
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