Proposal in works to tackle school nurse shortage in San Mateo County

The Sequoia Healthcare District, a public entity that provides community-based healthcare services to residents of central and southern San Mateo County, is investigating ways to increase the number of nurses in eight local schools districts.

A community task force, brought together through the healthcare district’s Healthy Schools Initiative, wants to hire more qualified nurses, increase school nurse salaries and provide financial support for credential programs.

The Healthy Schools Initiative funds programs and staff in support of the physical and mental health needs of students and families of local public schools. This year, the healthcare district is investing $810,000 for school nurses, benefiting nearly 30,000 students in 42 schools within its San Mateo County region.

The committee, made up of Sequoia Healthcare representatives, school officials, nurses and special education employees, convened to discuss impacts and concerns of high student-to-nurse ratios and to map out potential action plans at a meeting on Nov. 7. A proposal will be drafted in the coming weeks and presented to the district’s board for approval in December.

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