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Nevada, The Silver State, the Past to the Future

By Tina Miller, BSN, RN, NCSN posted 06-07-2019 16:33



Nevada, the Silver State, laid the foundation for School Nursing in 1917 with passing an Act requiring all school children be screened for vision, hearing, dental and mouth breathing.


Between 1928 to 1930, Nevada budgeted $7,500 for three public health nurses to provide school and home health services to 10 of the 17 Nevada counties.


Clark County gained its first two public school nurses in 1932.


In 1956, Nevada directed that there be one school district in each of its 17 counties and Genevieve Arensdorf became the first Clark County School District Chief Nurse.  


Special schools were built for the mentally and severally physically handicapped students during the 1960's in Clark County.


The nursing staff numbered 24 nurses in the early 1970's serving 9,000 students to now Clark County has over 180 School Nurses for over 324,000 students.


In the 1990’s, the beginning of Community-Based School Clinics became an essential source for injured and ill students who lack insurance and other health care options. 

The 25th anniversary of Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA) – the law stated that children were to be educated in the least restrictive environment. Thus, students who may have previously been considered as candidates for a special school would now be attending their “home school.”  A treatment or procedure for a medically fragile student needed during the school day would be provided in the school setting. This increased the need for School Nursing services to complete nursing procedures and student assessments.

The founding Nevada School Nurses recognized the importance of set standards in delivering nursing in schools. The founders saw School Nursing as a dynamic discipline that embraces a variety of function and requires a scope of preparation that is broad and varied. They recognized that national certification would insure appropriate nurse academic and clinical preparation and provide assurance that only qualified professional nurses serve in the schools.