For Immediate Release:
September 24, 2021
news release printable version
NASN Urges Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee to Include NURSE Act in Reconciliation Act
Silver Spring, Md., September 24, 2021—The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently issued a letter to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee asking them to include the NURSE Act,(S. 1602/ H.R. 3166) the Nurses for Under-Resourced Schools Everywhere Act, that would allocate sufficient federal funding to support school nursing services as part of the nation’s plan to safely reopen our schools for in-person learning, in the upcoming Reconciliation Act focusing on Human Capital.
“As Congress considers this additional legislation for Human Capital, particularly with respect to children and schools, please recognize that school nurses are central for reopening schools during a pandemic,” said Donna Mazyck, MS, RN, NCSN, CAE, FNASN. “It is crucial that Congress address the health, safety, and readiness to learn of students by increasing school nursing services in U.S. schools.”
The NURSE Act will provide sustained federal funding through grants for school nursing services for the first time ever. The NURSE Act targets Title I schools where child health and social needs are the greatest - access to a school nurse is a student equity issue. For many children living in or near poverty, the school nurse may be the only health care professional they access regularly. This legislation would serve as a starting point for increasing student access to school nursing services across the country.
Congress and the Biden Administration share the same goal of reopening schools as quickly as possible, and President Biden has prioritized increasing school nursing services for children across the country. Our organizations believe that Senator Tester’s Nurses for Under-Resourced Schools Everywhere (NURSE) Act provides an established framework for expanding school nursing services by extending grants to local education agencies to hire school nurses.
“The COVID-19 pandemic escalated the social, mental, and emotional needs of students and their families,” commented NASN President Dr. Linda Mendonca, DNP, RN, PHNA-BC, NCSN, FNASN. “School nurses, the bridge between the healthcare and education systems, serve as public health sentinels; and engage school communities, parents, and health care providers to promote wellness and improve health outcomes for children.”
The National Association of School Nurses is a non-profit specialty nursing organization, organized in 1968 and incorporated in 1977, representing school nurses exclusively. NASN has close to 18,000 members and 50 affiliates, including the District of Columbia and overseas. The mission of NASN is to optimize student health and learning by advancing the practice of school nursing. To learn more about NASN, please visit us on the Web at www.nasn.org or call 866-627-6767.