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At a time of widespread budget constraints, many healthcare-providing institutions--including public schools--are cutting back on the number of nurses and other healthcare professionals they employ. Although a large body of research has established that inadequate staffing levels result in negative patient outcomes, the link between workplace conditions and the quality of care has yet to make it into many policy discussions.

Far more work is needed in this area, especially in regard to the impact on children's health and wellbeing. The Institute sponsors model pilot projects, discussions and research aimed at improving the quality of patient care in hospital settings and exploring the critical role of school nurses in student outcomes. Thus far, the Institute has conducted two programs in this area, one a pilot project on the impact that improved nurse-management collaboration can have on improved patient care, and the other a study to explore the feasibility of conducting broader studies on the impact of school nurses on students’ health and academic success.










  • Feasibility of School Nurse Data Collection

    In 2015, the Institute published a pilot study which focused on the feasibiity of measuring school nurse impacts on student health and achievement.  The underlying assumption of this study is that, to benefit from education and instruction in school, children must be healthy and ready to learn.  School nurse positions are often cut as schools struggle with decreased state funding and the lower property tax revenues that resulted from the 2008 recession. Although there are studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of school nursing on a wide range of child health and education outcomes, significantly more research and statistical data supporting school nurse practice outcomes is needed.

  • Patient Care Collaboration Project

    In 2011, with support from the Albert Shanker Institute and the Foundation for St. Francis and Franklin, the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (WFNHP) and the management of St. Francis Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, collaborated on a joint project designed to improve patient care and patient satisfaction, focusing on the Emergency Department.