Friday, Jun 12, 2015 | 12:00pm EDT
the Albert Shanker Institute, the American Federation of Teachers,
the American Public Health Association, and the National Association of School Nurses
Friday, June 12, 2015 | Washington, DC
It seems to be common sense that the presence of qualified health professionals in schools can improve students’ health outcomes and, accordingly, their educational outcomes as well. A school-wide culture that includes a focus on good health practices, promoted and monitored by health professionals, should increase students’ attendance and wellbeing. It should enable teachers to focus on teaching, without the distraction of coordinating care for kids with serious chronic health conditions in the classroom or managing illness-related absenteeism. And it should allow students to focus, to learn and to thrive.
Unfortunately, the research establishing these correlations has been scant, leaving many policy and political leaders with little understanding of the role and value of school nurses and school health centers. In an age of shrinking budgets, this lack of data has taken a toll. Luckily, two recent studies may help. The first, a cost-benefit study from Massachusetts, suggests that spending on school nurses provides a substantial net benefit to society as a whole, not simply to schools. The second explores the ways in which routine collection of nurse-generated data on selected child health and education outcomes could provide school- and district-specific data.
This panel brings together researchers, practitioners and policy professionals in this field to discuss an agenda for additional research and the strengthening of current education and health care policies.
Martha Dewey Bergren, DNS RN NCSN APHN-BC FNASN FASHA FAAN, Clinical Associate Professor and Director, Advanced Population Health Nursing, Health Systems Leadership and Informatics, University of Illinois-Chicago College of Nursing
Erin Maughan, Ph.D. RN, Research Director, National Association of School Nurses; former faculty in the College of Nursing at Brigham Young University (BYU)
Tom Stinson, Ed.D., RN, Licensed School Nurse, Harding High School, St. Paul, MN; Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Saint Mary's of Minnesota BSN Program; AFT Nurses and Health Care Professional Division.
Terri Wright, Ph.D., MPH, Director, Center for School, Health and Education and Center for Public Health Policy Division of Public Health Policy and Practice American Public Health Association
Moderator: Leo Casey, Ph.D., Executive Director, Albert Shanker Institute