Why does the Wilmington school committee refuse to pay its school RNs a professional wage?


An open letter to the resident of Wilmington

School nursing is one of the most challenging and rapidly changing specialty areas in health care today. Why? Because schools have seen dramatic increases in the number of medically fragile children who are in the classroom, including children with Type 1 diabetes, life threatening allergies, asthma, seizure disorders, and feeding tubes.

School RNs are required to be licensed educators by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). But school RNs must ALSO be licensed professional nurses by the Board of Registration in Nursing. In other words, being a school RN requires dual licensure.

Yet, in Wilmington, school RNs are the ONLY education professionals who are NOT paid on the same wage scale as other licensed educators.

Paid on the same professional wage scale:


Segregated & denied access to the professional wage scale:

  • Speech & Language Therapists
  • Counselors
  • Psychologists
  • Classroom Teachers
  • Specialist Teachers
  • Social Workers
  • Physical Therapist
  • School RNs

The school committee has told the school RNs — who have been without a contract for over nine months — that “philosophically” they do not believe the school RNs should be paid the same as all other licensed educators in the district. Rather, it has chosen to retain a labor attorney and undergo the “fact finding process” in its ongoing effort to deny nurses access to equal, professional pay. This process will cost the town taxpayers significantly more than settling the nurse’s contract.

In other words, the school committee will spend thousands of tax dollars to deny school nurses equal pay.

In solidarity,
The Wilmington School Nurses