Bringing Health Services to the School Setting


Within the last 10 years, the prevalence of students with chronic health conditions—especially asthma, diabetes and mental health issues—has doubled to one in four.

Schools are not a traditional place to provide health care—but we believe they can play a powerful role in providing health services to children. Students spend more time in school than in any other setting outside the home.

Schools are an ideal place to promote wellness and treat the health conditions students already face. Most students do not have daily access to health services at school, even when they experience complications from chronic illnesses.

One way to provide school health services is by ensuring that each school has a full-time school nurse and a mental health care provider.

If health services were offered in schools:

  • More students would be able to get immediate medical services and go back to class instead of falling behind.
  • Students would have a better chance of connecting with community resources like physical exams, doctors and financial help.
  • School health care providers could identify potential physical and mental health issues and provide early interventions like screenings and referrals.
  • Then, there are events like outbreaks. A school nurse could mean the difference between a couple of infections or an epidemic.

What is HSC Doing?


HSC has initiated discussions with leaders in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education about increasing funding for school health services. These discussions include our specific ongoing support for full-time school nurses, as well as mental health care providers.

In the past, HSC’s school nurse leadership trainings have aimed to help nurses become better care providers and equip them to advocate for school health and wellness policies.

HSC has always pointed to having a sufficient staff of school nurses as one of the keys to offering medical services and promoting health in schools. Our leadership trainings helped school nurses use what they were learning while caring for students to make wide-spread change within their schools and districts.

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