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Assuring Safe, High Quality Health Care in Pre-K Through 12 Educational Settings

ANA Position Statement
Approved:
3/16/07

Students’ health and health needs must be addressed in schools to achieve optimum learning. The American Nurses Association (ANA) supports a collaborative school health model which best protects the fundamental public health and educational priority our nation’s children represent. Based in part on the success of public health planning, it requires the cooperation and participation of health care professionals, teachers, school administrators and staff, students, families, and the community.

In such a model, the school nurse serves in the role of coordinator of care, information, education, personnel and resources to take best advantage of schools’ unique position in addressing students’ safety and health care needs. As with any professional registered nurse, the school nurse’s role also includes direct care, as well as educating and delegating health care activities to others (both healthcare and non-healthcare personnel) under various guidelines and protocols, as permitted by each state’s Nurse Practice Act.

To that end, ANA supports the assignment and daily availability of a registered school nurse for the central management and implementation of school health services at the recommended ratio of one nurse for every 750 students, with an ultimate goal of at least one nurse in every school. If the school nurse is assigned to more than one facility, the total number of students that the nurse serves should not exceed 750. Furthermore, ANA supports and recommends a modified ratio of fewer students per nurse, dependent upon the number and severity of disabilities within the student population.

 

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