School Nurses Face Change, New Challenges

ELMA, N.Y. (August 20, 2013)--About 74,000 school nurses head back to school this fall with the goal of keeping attendance up while facing an always-changing set of challenges.

School nurses not only have a supply of Band-Aids and ice packs to treat the bumps, bruises and paper cuts of school life, but also such things as rocking chairs and stuffed animals for times when comfort is the best medicine.

They're finding they have to be ready for pretty much anything because their job is always changing.

Today's nurses might suction tracheostomies, monitor insulin pumps and inhalers or dispense condoms.

They've come a long way since 1902, when the first school nurse went to work in New York City to stem the spread of contagious diseases such as diphtheria and scarlet fever.

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