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Citing a growing body of research, the American Nurses Association (ANA) calls for wider availability of nurses in the nation's schools. The ANA says a ratio of one RN for every 750 students is essential to promote health, prevent injury, and achieve a safe and healthy learning environment. The ANA also notes a link between school nurse availability and student attendance and achievement.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality estimates that about 20 million American school children have at least one chronic health problem. Yet many schools don't have a nurse on-site or even one who visits daily. Some schools require unlicensed office staff to administer medications and treatments to students. And some schools that employ RNs require them to delegate some nursing responsibilities to unlicensed assistive personnel, which may violate state nurse practice acts.
For more information, visit the Web site of the ANA at http://www.nursingworld.org or of the National Association of School Nurses at http://www.nasn.org.
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