Cobb's school nurses have been through a lot over the past two years. Responding to the pandemic has been an added level of stress, but these dedicated and hard-working medical professionals continue to provide excellent care to the District's 110,000 students.
Our school nurses play an integral role in helping students and staff to be ready to engage in the learning process. They address the home and community factors (e.g., social determinants) that impact students’ health; and act as a liaison to the school community, families, and healthcare providers on behalf of children’s health by promoting wellness and improving health outcomes for our children.
Their primary role is to ensure students/staff are healthy, safe, and ready to learn. School nurses and School Health Services have long been deemed the "hidden healthcare system." Students today face more complex and life-threatening health problems requiring care in school.
In August 2021, Cobb's school nurses returned hoping for a somewhat normal year; however, they were immediately hit with an increase in COVID cases due to the Delta variant and navigated through the Omicron variant that descended upon our community that winter. They worked tirelessly and relentlessly, putting in many hours of overtime. Flexibility was the critical component as their focus needed to shift from COVID and back, along with frequent changes in policies and guidance.
"Cobb's nurses handle lots of emergencies professionally and seamlessly," said District Nursing Supervisor Melanie Bales. "They wear many hats throughout the course of the day. They understand the link between health and learning and are able to make a positive difference for children every day."
With that in mind, it is proper to honor and celebrate Cobb's team of dedicated and caring nursing professionals in the middle of National Nurses Week.
National School Nurse Day has been set aside each year since 1972 to recognize school nurses around the country. It was established to foster a better understanding of the importance of school nurses in the educational setting and their critical role as "first responders" to both minor and major illnesses for students of all ages.
School Nurse Day is celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurses Week, which is May 6-12 this year. Let it be known that Cobb Schools agrees wholeheartedly with this and makes the following Proclamation:
Whereas, students are the future and, by investing in them today, we are ensuring our world for tomorrow; and
Whereas, families deserve to feel confident that their children will be cared for when they are at school; and
Whereas, all students have a right to have their physical and mental health needs safely met while in the school setting; and
Whereas, students today face more complex and life-threatening health problems requiring care in school; and
Whereas, the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the essential role school nurses play in student health and academic success; and
Whereas, school nurses have served a critical role in improving public health and in ensuring student’s academic success for more than 100 years; and
Whereas, school nurses address the home and community factors (e.g., social determinants) that impact students’ health; and
Whereas, school nurses act as a liaison to the school community, families, and healthcare providers on behalf of children’s health by promoting wellness and improving health outcomes for our nation’s children; and
Whereas, school nurses support the health and educational success of children and youth by providing access to care when children’s cognitive development is at its peak; and
Whereas, school nurses are members of school-based teams (e.g., school health services, 504/IEP, disaster/emergency planning) to address the school population; and
Whereas, school nurses understand the link between health and learning and are in a position to make a positive difference for children every day, therefore be it
Resolved, that the National Association of School Nurses celebrates and acknowledges the accomplishments of school nurses everywhere and their efforts of meeting the needs of today’s students by improving the delivery of healthcare in our schools and offers gratitude for the nation’s school nurses, who contribute to our local communities by helping students stay healthy, in school, and ready to learn, and keeping parents and guardians at work, not just on this National School Nurse Day, but at every opportunity throughout the year.
Now, THEREFORE, we do hereby proclaim Wednesday, May 11, 2022, as “School Nurse Day” in Cobb County School District, and commend its observance to all Staff and citizens.
Thank you, Cobb Nurses, for all you do for our schools, students, and staff. Thank you for being flexible and willing to do what it took to serve during a pandemic. We salute you!