Advocacy – Archive:

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Letter to Senator Schumer - Nurse in Every School - April 2020

April 20, 2020

Senator Charles Schumer
US Senate Minority Leader
322 Hart Senator Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Schumer:

On behalf of pre-kindergarten, elementary and high school students in the United States and the New York State Association of School Nurses (NYSASN), we ask that you fund Registered School Nurses for every school building for the upcoming school year as this country begins to open schools in the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. School re-entry will bring many challenges for students as they resume classes in the school year 2020-2021. Students will experience mental and behavioral health concerns that may present as physical health issues; they will need support from school nurses.

School nurses are front line health care providers, serving as the bridge between the health care and education systems. Whether they are hired by school districts, health departments, or hospitals, school nurses look after the physical and mental health of students in school. School nurses, as public health sentinels, engage school communities, parents, and healthcare providers to promote wellness and improve health outcomes for children. For many children living in or near poverty, the school nurse may be the only health care professional they access regularly. School nurses are essential in infectious disease surveillance, identification and intervention for student physical and mental health concerns, health screenings, school located vaccinations and immunization compliance efforts. Additionally, children today face more chronic and complex health conditions than ever before. Access to a school nurse is a student equity issue.

Historically children have been the first to show signs of an epidemic and the school nurse has been a case finder of illness. As we look at the 2020-2021 school year that will also coincide with new influenza, the need for new school nurses is paramount. School nurses support the academic success of students by making sure they are healthy, safe, and ready to learn.

During a crisis such as this, school nurses serve students and families in schools and in communities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, school nurses continue working to check in on students with chronic conditions, either by phone or through telehealth; others provide home visits. Some school nurses collaborate with school staff to ensure that children receive needed meals. Other school nurses serve at COVID-19 testing centers and as contact tracers to support local and state public health departments.

As you and our other Congressional leaders negotiate stimulus packages centered on the COVID-19 pandemic, consider that only 39 percent of public schools have a school nurse all day, every day, while another 35 percent of schools have a school nurse who works part-time in one or more schools, leaving 25 percent of schools without a full time school nurse. Healthy students learn better. When a school nurse is present to meet student healthcare needs, parents and school administrators know that children and youth can focus on learning. Thank you for your consideration to address the health, safety, and readiness to learn of students by increasing school nurse positions in U. S. schools. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance or I would be glad to put you in touch with some of our school nurses who are members of NYSASN and NASN from your local communities.


Lou Ann Gleason, MSN, RN
NYSASN President


NYSASN Members Visit Legislators in Albany

NYSASN Members Visit Legislators in Albany

President Betsy Williams, President Elect Mary Fitzpatrick, Legislation Chair Stacey Marye, Zone 12 Representatives Kanika Moxley and Sandra Perkins, and NYSASN member Gail Smilkstein met with their local legislators in Albany on June 6, 2017. They also met with sponsors of the bills on NYSASN’s Advocacy agenda.

The NYSASN representatives also met with Assemblyman Joseph Morelle, sponsor of A1842B, requiring future nurses to obtain a BSN within ten years after licensure as RN.

Pictured at right, L to R: Gail Smilkstein (Zone 4), Kanika Moxley (Zone 12 Co-Rep), NYSASN President Betsy Williiams, Assemblyman and Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D.Morelle, NYSASN President-Elect Mary Fitzpatrick, Stacey Marye (Legislation Chair) and Sandra Perkins (Zone 12 Co-Rep)

Bills Summary 2017-2018

A1842b, Morelle / S6768, Flanagan RN to BSN in 10

A0152, Cahill School nurses for the inspection of pupils

A0853, Gunther / S4635, Robach Requires school districts of big 5 to employ a minimum of one school nurse per school building

A3855, Colton / S2362, Parker School nurse on premises during school hours in any school having 100 or more pupils

A1026, Gantt Related to health services providers of schools not served by DOH in cities – advocates using alternative models of health services

A3899a, Morelle /S3941a, Hannon Grants schools access to a student’s blood lead level information in NYSIIS for identifying and interventions re children with history of lead poisoning

A2733, Gottfried / S5588, Hannon EMT community paramedicine

A1120, Rosenthal Annual school tap water testing

S2361, Parker / A0409, Miller MG Nebulizers on school grounds

S2723, Klein / A5161, Crespo Comprehensive asthma provisions

S2760, Klein / A5037, Crespo Omnibus obesity and respiratory illness reduction act

A4382, Titus Teachers trained to identify and respond to asthma

S2724b, Klein / A5151b, Crespo Obesity screening at school

A3851, Ortiz / S2257, Parker Requires phys ed in primary and secondary schools

A5037, Crespo / S2760, Klein Omnibus obesity

A6520, Paulin / S5679, Gallivan Licensed school personnel may adjust student insulin dosage under instruction from prescriber or from parent or guardian – doctors to give parameters in orders

A0679, Rosenthal Use of glucagon by persons other than licensed health care professional and epi at school

A0750, Gunther Dtap at 7th grade instead of 6th

A0933, Paulin and S0132, Hoylman Mandatory HPV for students born after January 1, 1998

S3546, Gianaris / A4894, Simotas Regarding documentation for religious exemption

S0601, Boyle Sets protocol for documenting religious exemption

S0163, Rivera Extends protections related to medical exemption

A3912, Thiele / S2955, Croci Districts report numbers of students requesting immunization exemptions

S0280, Hoylman Epinephrine on site at preschools and restaurants

A0299, Rosenthal / S2747, Golden New teachers trained in use of epi

A0529, Rosenthal Requires epis in schools; training of staff to identify and administer

A0681, Rosenthal / S0264, Hoylman Related to epi on overnights and camps

A0445a, Stirpe / S0465a, Robach Prohibits school districts from disallowing home schooled students from participating in district interscholastic sports

A0336, Rodriguez / S3265, Parker Requires students screened for eating disorders (on health certificates)

A6053a/S4971a Sepsis education in schools

A5800, Nolan / S4850, Marcellino Sepsis awareness and prevention for schools

A3244, Cusick / S3150, Lanza Heart exams for phys ed and sports (ECGs on physical forms)

S1297, Marcellino / A6050, Aubrey Dominic Murray sudden cardiac arrest prevention act – still using ‘signs and symptoms of cardiac arrest’

A0347, Rosenthal Free feminine hygiene products at school

A0880, Gunther Creates a state board for national certification of school nurse grant program

A0336/S3265 Screening for eating disorders on physical form

S6206 Random testing for anabolic steroids in athletes in public and private schools