Our children spend nearly half of their waking hours in school, under the supervision of individuals other than their parents. Parents rely on these institutions to provide not only educational development and care, but most importantly — safety.
Unfortunately, such care and protection has been deeply underserved. This is attributable to the lack of on-site nurses in many schools across the nation, posing a great looming danger considering the increasingly complex health needs of students.
The nation’s third most populous and fourth fastest-growing state — Florida — ranks 42nd for student-per-school nurse ratio, according to the National Association of School Nurses. The state averages 1 nurse per 2,605 students, while the ratio in areas such as Lake County surges as high as 1 nurse to every 3,510 students.
These alarming statistics grossly exceed the levels recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, who calls for a minimum of one full-time registered nurse in every school. Florida’s ratios even fall incredibly short of the AAP’s outdated standard of 1 school nurse to 750 students in the healthy student population.
With children’s lives at risk, outside of parental supervision, it is necessary for schools to provide a better system of care and safety. Unfortunately, these needs are often constrained by budgetary demands.
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