News & Events

School nurses advocate for their students on Beacon Hill

MNA members educate legislators on the vital role of nurses in our public schools

From the Massachusetts Nurse Newsletter
August 2011 Edition

By Lainey Titus
Associate Director, Legislation and Government Affairs

  School nurses meet with Sen. Michael Moore (D-Millbury) to talk about the need for a nurse
in every school.

Citing the need for a nurse in every school, school nurses from Gloucester, Methuen, North Andover, Wilmington and Worcester visited the State House on June 28 to educate their legislators about the crucial role they play in their schools.

The nurses met with staff members and legislators in support of S.221 (sponsored by Sen. Richard Moore, D-Uxbridge), which would improve nurse staffing through school funding methods, as well as S.207 (sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Flanagan, D-Leominster), which would require a nurse in every school.

“Unfortunately, the general public still has the perception that school nurses are just giving out Band-Aids, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. The children in our schools today are more acutely ill than ever before but are able to stay in their local schools because of their school nurses,” said Tami Hale, RN, Worcester Public Schools. “I’m glad we were able to visit the State House and make sure our legislators know why it is so important to have a nurse in every school.”

While the group mainly visited with legislative staff, they did get the chance to meet with a number of legislators including Sen. Michael Moore (D-Millbury), Reps. Cleon Turner (D-Dennis), Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton) and Ted Speliotis (D-Danvers).

“Before coming today I figured that the legislators might be consumed with other issues, like the state budget, and wouldn’t care about what was affecting us in the schools, but that wasn’t the case at all,” said Deb McCarthy, RN, Gloucester Public Schools. “It was nice to see that they were very interested in what we had to say.”

Both pieces of legislation were discussed at hearings by the Joint Committee on Public Health in June and are pending before the committee. If you would like to get involved with issues affecting school nurses, please contact Maryanne McHugh at 781.830.5713.