School Nurse Corps Program
In 1996-97, Washington State's Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) conducted a survey of school nurses and other workers in public schools. The JLARC survey showed that 89% of students with no on-staff registered nurses were in Class II districts (those districts with less than 2,000 students).
Inclusion of all students in the public school system has created the necessity for school personnel to be responsible for additional and more complex medical procedures, such as EpiPen administration, and to be more knowledgeable about health conditions.
With a more adequate nursing presence, these issues could be safely accomplished in a school setting. Without an adequate presence, students are placed at risk, staff are unfairly burdened, and the schools face greater safety and legal hazards.
In response to these identified emergent needs for school nurse services, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) proposed to develop the state's first School Nurse Corps Program. State/OSPI monies have been funding the School Nurse Corps since August 1999.