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School Nurses

Photo of school nurse talking to student

DCPS receives school nurses through the District of Columbia School Health Nursing Program, a partnership between DC Department of Health (DOH) and Children’s National Medical Center. DOH holds a contract with Children’s National Medical Center and its school nursing division, Children’s School Services, to provide Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses to staff school health suites. Each school is staffed with a school nurse who is available to work with DCPS students and families to provide basic health services and to ensure that students in need have quality care during the school day. Each DCPS school is provided part-time or full-time nursing coverage between 8 am–4:30 pm, Mondays–Fridays, during the school year and during the summer if DCPS summer school is in operation at the school site. The nurse works with school staff, as well as families and community resources, to reduce and remove health-related barriers to students’ academic success.

Additional information about the DOH School Health Nursing Program is available on the DOH website.

Healthy School Environment

School Nurses promote a healthy school environment, providing for the physical and emotional safety of the school community.

School nurses also:

  • Assist students with chronic illnesses that require ongoing prescribed medical treatment including monitoring blood sugar levels, administering tube feedings and performing catheterizations.
  • Conduct health screenings and make referrals for various conditions including vision, hearing and scoliosis.
  • Provide health assessments and referrals for health problems and medical conditions.
  • Control communicable diseases by ensuring all students are immunized in accordance with the District of Columbia laws and regulations.
  • Identify suspected child abuse, illegal drug use or depression and determine appropriate intervention. 

Facts About School Nurses

  • In the United States, there are approximately 50,000 licensed professional school nurses providing health services to nearly 52 million children in a school setting.
  • In the District of Columbia there are approximately 55,000 students in Public Schools and approximately 13,000 attending Public Charter Schools.
  • Children’s School Services (CSS) employs nearly 200 nurses, who provide health care and nursing for the Public Schools and Public Charter Schools in the District of Columbia.
  • School nurses are on staff year-round providing the best possible services to students.
  • Studies have shown students in schools that have a school nurse perform better academically. (American Federation of Teachers, July 2003)

Children’s School Services is a subsidiary of Children’s National Medical Center. Health services are managed and administered by Children’s School Services for the Government of the District of Columbia. Student health laws and requirements are developed and regulated by the DC Department of Health. 

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