The National Association of School Nurses reports that the number of school nurses is inadequate across the country, citing a 2018 study in the Journal of School Nursing showing that fewer than 40 percent of schools employ full-time school nurses. This, despite a recent CDC report that revealed rates of serious diseases like epilepsy and diabetes, as well as mental health needs, have increased in children over the past few decades. Similarly, the American Academy of Pediatrics has supported full-time nurses in every school.
Unfortunately, the pool of school nurses appears inadequate to meet the needs of schools, which must compete with hospitals and other agencies that can pay salaries that are on average $16,000 more per year. This forces schools to make hard decisions and/or look at ways to secure nursing services. Some schools are even exploring sharing school nurse costs with local hospitals in order to fill nursing needs.