Understanding the factors that impact the workload of the school nurse
What is it about?
The workload of the school nurse is complex as it encompasses individualized care to population health. This paper develops workload indicators from four broad areas that school nurses, school nurse administrators and other school stakeholders/policy makers may consider in school nurse workload measurement that provides safe, quality care to students: health conditions and needs of students; social determinants of health; characteristics of the nursing staff; characteristics of the school/community.
Why is it important?
There is little research in the work environment of the school nurse. The role of the school nurse is an underutilized resource that could provide an unprecedented opportunity to shift the nation from a focus on sickness and disease to one based on prevention and wellness. The numbers of students and complexity of health needs for students attending school has increased, as has the number of students who are at risk for other health concerns, such as obesity. Caseload ratios, such as one school nurse to 750 students, was never evidence-based and failed to account for issues such as students with chronic diseases, or social determinants of health.
The following have contributed to this page: Beth Jameson and Erin Maughan