School Nurses Playing Big Role In Changing School Environment

Today's school nurses do much more than pass out aspirin and band aids. That's what 200 school nurses from across the state are talking about at the Mississippi School Nurse Association convention here on the coast.

While school nurses still provide first aid care, their job description has expanded. The threat of school violence has nurses taking on new responsibilities.

Judy Robinson is head of the National Association of Student Nurses, and she says nurses are dealing with the changing school environment first-hand.

"Well the school nurse is really on the front lines with violence," Robinson said. "I think we have some very good statistics from McComb, Miss., where the year they put a nurse in their high school they had a 60 percent decrease in disciplinary referrals to the principal. So, I think that says that the school nurse helps to meet some of those students needs."

Robinson says school nurses must be especially aware of mental health issues. She says emotional problems with students are far more common today.