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Colorado Education Highlights

Colorado Education Highlights features the great work being done in Colorado at schools and districts, BOCES, and other education-related organizations. For more information, email CDE Communications

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New school nurses meet for orientation

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Nurses attend orientation in a conference room in Cherry Creek.

Seventy-five nurses from around the state attended an orientation in Cherry Creek recently.

Last week, 75 nurses new to school nursing convened in the Cherry Creek School District for a four-day school nurse orientation. 

The nurses learned important information in classes on immunization, communicable disease, medication administration, mental health issues, their role in special education, child abuse prevention, confidential and caring for students with chronic health conditions like diabetes and asthma. 

The nurses came from all areas of the state, including Ignacio, Fort Morgan and Steamboat Springs, learning about managing students with special health care needs so that they are safe at school and ready to learn. 

"Putting a nurse in schools goes back to 1902, when New York City was the first to add a nurse in a high impact school to help with high absentee rates," said Kathleen Patrick, assistant director of health and wellness for the Colorado Department of Education. "Within a year, absenteeism was reduced by 90 percent. School nurses today handle chronic diseases, medically complex conditions, mental health support, health-related emergencies and injury care prevention."

Since 2006, the number of school nurses in Colorado has gradually increased but have not kept up with student population or the increase in the number of students with health conditions. Currently, there are 612 nurses in Colorado's public schools.

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