Project Description

Project Objectives & Timeline

The project's objectives are to:
  1. Improve access to primary care and prevention services, specifically asthma and chronic condition management
  2. Facilitate the establishment of a medical home for students
  3. Develop an advocacy plan to improve Nurse-to-Student ratios across California public schools

The Case for Full-Time School Nurses

  • While the rate of chronic health conditions among US children increased over 50% from 1994 to 2006, or 12.8% to 26.6% (1), only of 40.6% of public elementary, middle, and senior high schools had a nurse-to-student ratio of at least 1:750, as recommended by Healthy People 2020 (2).
  • Only 21.5% of Californian post-secondary schools had a full time nurse in 2008 (3).
  • With increasing numbers of children with chronic conditions, school nurses play a critical role in supporting students' physical and academic well-being.

Children with Chronic Conditions in Schools

  • The three most prevalent conditions among children are obesity, asthma, and behavioral/learning problems such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (1).
  • Pediatric asthma is the leading cause of school absenteeism and has been associated with a number of negative academic outcomes, including reading problems, grade repetition, learning disabilities, and behavior problems. The prevalence of childhood asthma has doubled since the 1980's and now affects nearly 10% of U.S. children and adolescents (4).
Sources:
  1. Van Cleave et al., 2010; Halfon and Newacheck, 2010.
  2. Healthy People 2020 Summary of Objectives, Educational and Community-Based Programs
  3. Brener et al., 2009.
  4. Levy et al., 2006; Moonie et al., 2006; Kohen, 2010.