Advocacy and Policy

From the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a newly released policy statement on the indisputable link between health and attendance, leading to academic success. School nurses are highlighted on Page 4 of the article:

Also from the AAP: Scientific evidence does not support health claims that e-cigarettes are effective as smoking cessation aids

Facts and Statistics

  • There were over 1.7 million students enrolled in Georgia schools, pre-K through 12th grade, as of October 2018.  Of these students, 10% were designated as having limited English proficiency, 61% were eligible for free or reduced meals, and 11.8% designated as having a disability. 1

  • About 25% of children in the United States aged 2 to 8 years have a chronic health condition such as asthma, obesity, other physical conditions, and behavior/learning problems. 2

  • The rate of uninsured school-age children has declined nationally by almost half between 2009 and 2016. Georgia is one of 9 states with rates of uninsured school-aged children greater than the national rate of 5.1% in 2016. Georgia’s rate of uninsured school aged children was 7% in 2016. 3

  • Healthy People 2020 includes objective ECBP-5.1 which is to “Increase the proportion of elementary, middle, and senior high schools that have a full-time registered school nurse-to-student ratio of at least 1:750”4

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a minimum of one full-time registered nurse in every school. 5

  • The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) defines School Nursing as, “a specialized practice of nursing, protects and promotes student health, facilitates optimal development, and advances academic success. School nurses, grounded in ethical and evidence-based practice, are the 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.”6

  • Additionally, NASN recommends that a professional registered school nurse be present in school every day, all day to optimize student health, safety and learning. 6

1 Georgia Governor’s Office of Student Achievement

2 Van Cleave J, Gortmaker SL, Perrin JM. Dynamics of obesity and chronic health conditions among children and youth. J. Am. Med. Assoc. 2010;303(7):623-630.

3  Wagnerman, Karina and Wright Burak, Elisabeth.Medicaid and CHIP Provide Health Coverage for Many School-Age Children, Yet Gaps Remain. July 18, 2018.

4 Healthy People 2020

5 American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement, Role of the School Nurse in Providing School Health Services

6 National Association of School Nurses