NEW YORK - There are growing concerns over a shortage of school nurses causing more than 700 of New York City’s 2,000 schools to go a partial or full day without a nurse on site.
“We have this system where we have hundreds of holes every single day that are being filled by… temporary nurses,” said Kimberly Watkins, President of the Community Education Council for District 3.
A major issue is that most of the city’s school nurses are employed by either the Department of Education or the Department of Health, which also splits the response to the shortfall.
“They have two different pay structures, two different union representations, and we’re competing with private nurses that pay better and then these contract nurses. So it’s a really tangled web,” Watkins said.
The shortfall is most concerning for parents whose children need constant medical attention or medication.
Miranda Barbot from the New York City Department of Health released this statement to FOX 5: "The well-being of students is our top priority and we have hired a Senior Advisor for School Health that is laser-focused on finding long-term solutions in close partnership with DOH. On average, 98 percent of all school buildings have a nurse every day, and approximately 100 nurses are completing training this month."