Changing how the world thinks about nursing

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Baltimore Sun teaches readers about today's

May 12, 2003 -- Today's Baltimore Sun includes a generally helpful article by Jonathan Rockoff, "Tending bruises and deeper ills," about how much more complex the work of the United States' 58,000 school nurses has become in recent years. The piece is built around profiles of several busy Baltimore school nurses, who now handle everything from headaches and muscle pulls to asthma, diabetes, pregnancy, drug abuse, domestic abuse, rape and psychiatric problems. Sharon Hall, RN, a profiled nurse who works at Baltimore County's largest high school, notes that her office is sometimes like a clinic, other times like an ER.

The article does not note the high level of training of school nurses, most of whom have at least bachelor's degrees in nursing, nor their paradoxically low pay compared to hospital nurses. The piece also could have addressed how school nurses are faring in the budget crises now hitting states and cites nationwide. It might have underlined how economically valuable the nurses are, since their work allows so many students with serious health issues to stay in school, rather than making far more expensive alternative arrangements. Nevertheless, the article gives readers a good sense of the importance of school nurses and the challenges they face.

See the Baltimore Sun article "Tending bruises and deeper ills" by Jonathan Rockoff.