Background Rising levels of student health needs in K-12 public schools, legislative mandates, and shrinking educational budgets are increasing the complexity and challenges in school healthcare delivery. In response to these changing needs in school health, school nurse staffing levels and configurations are adapting. The traditional staffing model of school health delivery is often described as a school nurse ratio, the number of school nurses employed in relation to the number of students. Nontraditional models incorporate various combinations of registered nurses, unlicensed assistive personnel, physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners, and medical assistants. The literature presents evidence regarding how different levels of the traditional school nurse ratio model impact care. However, limited information exists describing the impact of these newer approaches.
- Compare parent satisfaction of two school health models: one that follows the school nurse ratio model and the other a school based health center which is staffed with a nurse practitioner and a medical assistant.
- In addition to learning if satisfaction levels differ between the two schools, the researcher hopes to learn if satisfaction levels differ between parents of children with chronic illnesses and parents of children without chronic illness
- The survey will include a comment section that will provide parents with an opportunity to share their experiences with school health delivery.
Design and Method This is a comparative descriptive design study. All parents/guardians whose children attend these two schools will be invited to participate on this study. Study participation involves completing a short survey consisting of a six question Likert questionnaire, along with a section to list any special health needs and an optional section for comments. Both schools are k-8 urban charter schools with approximately 700 students. They differ in their school health delivery models. One school uses the traditional nurse-ratio model and is staffed with a full time Licensed Practical Nurse. The second school has a school-based health center which is staffed with a nurse practitioner for four hours a day and a medical assistant who is present throughout the school day.
Results and Conclusions Pending
Significance This project has implications for health policy. Understanding how school health care is delivered by administrators and policy makers is vital as it influences the choice of school health care model which ultimately affects the health of children attending school.
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