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National School Nurse Day Recognizes the Hard Work of School Nurses

January 7th, 2011

Every student knows his or her school nurse. Whether they encounter the nurse due to bouts of upset stomachs or just from the annual physical that the school nurse conducts during gym class, every student benefits from having the nurse there. Just as secretaries and bosses have their own days for recognition of their hard work, now school nurses also have their own day to be celebrated: National School Nurse Day.

National School Nurse Day is celebrated on Wednesday of National Nurse Week, which is always held from May 6th to May 12th, according to the National Association of School Nurses. Promoted by the American Nurses Association, National Nurse Week was expanded from just a single nurse recognition day to an entire week in 1990. In 2003, a specific day within that week was chosen to specifically recognize the hard work of school nurses and has been celebrated on that day ever since.

School nurses deserve to be celebrated because these nurses are charged with the important responsibility of caring for every student in the school, which is especially noteworthy when you take into account that students spend the majority of their waking hours in school. Without school nurses, there would not be someone to ensure that students who feel ill are taken care of and no one to dispense medication to students with a prescription. In addition, school nurses control infection by making sure that children with contagious illnesses or conditions – such as chicken pox or the flu – are removed from classrooms so that they do not infect other students as well. This undoubtedly prevents many children from getting the fever that their classmates had, saving parents from worry, headaches, and health care expenses.

In addition to these things, school nurses also act as watchdogs of student health. They conduct physical examinations each school year as well as other exams like hearing tests, vision tests, and checking for spinal alignment. This work could help to catch growing problems early on so that every student remains as healthy as possible while they are in school. After all, if it were not for the diligence of school nurses, parents could be oblivious to the fact that their child is struggling in school due to something as simple and easy to fix as poor eyesight.

Be sure that when National Nurse Week rolls around this year to send a simple "Thank You" to your child's school nurse on that Wednesday in order to let them know that you appreciate what they do.