School Nurse Shortage: Recruitment Campaign Aims To Find More School Nurses

Photo: Massachusetts School Nurse Consultation Program

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A statewide campaign hopes to address the urgent need for school nurses.

The Massachusetts School Nurse Consultation Program (MSNCP) created the “Change A Life, Be A School Nurse” recruitment campaign, aiming to bring attention to the importance of school nurses and increase the number of qualified nurses for schools.

Regional consultant for the program Tricia Smith said the number of qualified school nurses has been trending downward for years.

“This nursing shortage is nationwide and it started way before the pandemic,” said Smith. “It just is a matter of nurses are retiring at a higher rate than nurses are entering the field of nursing.”

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 40 percent of school-aged children and teenagers have at least one chronic health condition. Smith said nurses are not just needed for emergencies, they are needed for some students just to be able to attend school.

“There are many kids in school who require a nurse just to attend school. Students with complex health needs, like diabetes or seizure disorder, or even students that have G tubes and trakes, they really need a nurse there to provide safe care and allow them to be able to access their education,” said Smith.

WBZ NewsRadio's Carl Stevens (@CarlWBZ) reports.

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