TheNurse Is In
ResearchProposal – The Nurse is In
Thetentative thesis for the proposed research is: There is the need fora full-time nurse at Cascade Brook School. The learning institutionis an elementary school located in Farmington and has a total of 263students (Brubaker & Ostroff, 2016). A full-time nurse in anelementary school plays a significant role in providing comprehensivehealth services to the learners and staff members. Studies have shownthat elementary schools in the U.S have witnessed an increase in thenumber of students suffering from chronic health conditions (Donovan& Bransford, 2015). A school nurse provides early identificationof health related problems, preventive services, referrals andinterventions which are likely to improve educational success.Personal background studies have shown that 46.8% of the students atCascade Brook School are eligible for Free lunch or reduced lunchprogram. The statistics have also shown that the incomes of nearlyhalf of the current students` families are in the 130% and 185% ofthe federal poverty level (Donovan & Bransford, 2015).
Studieshave shown that less than 50 percent of the public schools in theU.S. have a full-time nurse. Additionally, the majority of the poorschools located in urban centers have one nurse serving approximately4000 students this results in undesirable consequences because sickchildren experience difficulties in studying (Donovan &Bransford, 2015). As a result, it has forced school principals,teachers, and other administrative staff to start doling outmedication, stocking medicine for food allergies and monitoring thelevels of blood sugar in diabetic students. The decrease in thenumber of nurses started in the early 2000s when School Districtslaid off school nurses due to tight budgets, especially during theGreat Recession. However, even after the economy recovered, thedistricts did not go back to the table and rehire nurses but insteadhave been rotating nurses in schools. More than 30% of all elementaryschools have a nurse who works on a part-time basis (Donovan &Bransford, 2015).
Afull-time nurse offers direct care to the students in such cases asacute illness, injuries and those students that require specialhealth care. The responsibilities of the school nurse includeassessment and treatment of students as per the professional scope,referral to doctors, notifying parents about the well-being of theirchildren as well as providing and prescribing nursing care tolearners and staff members. The full-time nurse promotes a schoolenvironment that is healthy including the exclusion for infectiousillnesses such as Pertussis (Whooping Cough) which was a case atCascade School (Brubaker & Ostroff, 2016). The nurse alsopromotes the improvement of health education among the learners byoffering information to individuals and groups of students. The nurseis also obligated to provide confidential documentation andcommunication of students` health information as per the ethics ofnursing practice (Donovan & Bransford, 2015). The nurse also actsas a liaison between the healthcare professionals, school personnel,family and the community. This involves identification of studentsthat have education needs and others.
Theresearch will be used to find out if there is an increase in thenumber of students who join Cascade School with chronic healthconditions that might require management during school days. Theresearch will also be used to find out the likelihood of fosteringeducational success by incorporating a school nurse at Cascade BrookSchool. The research will also be used to determine the possibleeffects of hiring a school nurse on the quality of students` andstaff members’ health. The impact of hiring a nurse on the schoolbudget will be evaluated.
Theresearch method will consider the current situation in the schoolwhich currently has 33 full-time employees on the school budget. Nineof the full-time employees are working on non-educational needs suchas the resource room manager, social worker, life skills coach, andothers (Brubaker & Ostroff, 2016). The impact of hiring afull-time nurse on the school budget will be evaluated under thecurrent wages. Currently, Cascade Brook School`s budget stands at$32,749,109 which is an increase of $705,202 since last year(Brubaker & Ostroff, 2016). The benefits of hiring a nurse willbe weighed against the cost incurred.
Theresearch will evaluate the claim that students are getting exposeddaily to an increase in allergy problems. It is claimed that anaverage of 1 in 26 students per class has some form of allergy, frommild to severe, so the risk of anaphylactic shock has also increased(Brubaker & Ostroff, 2016). The achievement of this will bethrough carrying out a survey among the student population. Theresearch will also determine the likelihood of a nurse managing tocontrol the rise in head lice, influenza, diabetes, and asthma in theschool. The methods used will also reveal if the nurse would be ofhelp in the upcoming flu season which mainly occurs in the six monthsof winter (Donovan et al., 2015). The increase or decrease inproductivity of other members of staff, such as the secretary who isexpected to assess children as they report as well as perform otherduties, will be evaluated. The research will also look into what isthe current average school nurse salary by conducting surveys inschools having nurses.
Conclusively,it is speculated that if Cascade Brook School hires a full-timenurse, they are likely to realize more benefits than costs. Parents,teaching staff and other people have been incurring significantcosts. The school`s budget could be utilized in better ways to helpimprove and maintain children`s health.
Donovan,S. & Bransford, J. (2015). HowStudents Learn: Science in the Classroom – Volume 2.New York: National Academies Press.
Brubaker,D. & Ostroff, J. (2016). Life,Learning, and Community: Conceptsand Models for Service-learning in Biology.Sterling: StylusPublishing.