School Nurses Watch State Budget Closely

May 2, 2011

After years of seeing their ranks slowly increase, school nurses may be cut.  National standards recommend a ratio of 750 students to every school nurse, says Liz Newlin, head of the state association. North Carolina now has an average of about 1200 students for every school nurse. Newlin says some small counties are close to the recommended ratio. 

Liz Newlin: "...and the worst counties right now are Guilford, Randolph, Wake, Wilson, Johnston and Cumberland... and that's in the 2000 to 3000 ratio."

Newlin says nurses who are employed as non-instructional support staff are at most risk of losing their jobs. She also says cutting other support staff can be a problem - in districts where nurses cover 2 or 3 schools, they often train other support staff to deliver basic first aid until a nurse or EMS can arrive.  

Annual Report on School Health Services (pdf)