Report to the Community
All for ONE and ONE for all: Schools, students, parents, principals, teachers and staff, health professionals, community – everyone benefits because good health is necessary for academic success and nurses make good health happen!
This document, and its companion White Paper Report, are the result of the compilation of information gathered by the Project ONE team in their first eighteen months of study.
A series of Fact Sheets and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s), which served as the foundation for this report, as well as a list of scholarly articles, news stories and the full White Paper Report with works cited, are available on the Project ONE webpage: http://www.guilfordcountyprojectone.com/
Information and recommendations referenced are in no way to be understood as reflecting the positions or suggestions of the Guilford County Department of Public Health (GCDPH), or the Guilford County Schools (GCS). The ideas that follow belong wholly to the Project ONE team.
I. Problem Statement
Nurses have been delivering care to children in schools since the beginning of the last century. And yet, while the need for professional school nurses is now greater and better understood than ever before, the number of nurses available for students in our public schools remains woefully inadequate.
It is our belief that the time has come for Guilford County’s school and health personnel, policy makers, parents and community representatives to develop a strategy that will give our students an adequate number of professional nurses to meet our students’ health and learning needs. We are grateful and encouraged by the positive steps Guilford County Commissioners have taken with the addition of five full time positions for School Year 2017-18. It is our hope and expectation that this progress will continue.
- The Value of One Professional Nurse for Every School
The role of today’s school nurse is way beyond band aids and first aid. The National Association of School Nurses describes the current professional school nurse’s role this way: “School nursing, a specialized practice…protects and promotes student health, facilitates optimal development, and advances academic success…[nurses] are leaders who bridge health care and education, provide care coordination, advocate for quality student-centered care, and collaborate to design systems that allow individuals and communities to develop their full potential.”1
School nurses play a vital role in every aspect of a student’s day in school and for this reason there is always more work than time allotted. An appropriate response to the challenge of modern health issues, from caring for a child with insulin dependent diabetes or depression to monitoring well-being of special needs students, often depends on immediate access to a health professional–the school nurse.
Project ONE supports the goal of one professional nurse for every public school based on our recognition that the role and responsibilities of today’s school nurse requires many more “hands on deck,” with at least one professional nurse (RN) in every school.