School nurses have come a long way since 1902

AP News
Posted: Aug 20, 2013 11:50 AM

ELMA, N.Y. (AP) — About 74,000 school nurses will head back to school this fall with the goal of keeping attendance up for students who are facing ever-more challenging lessons.

School nurses these days not only have a supply of Band-Aids and ice packs to treat the bumps, bruises and paper cuts of school life — but they also have things like rocking chairs and stuffed animals for when comfort is the best medicine. They're finding they have to be ready for pretty much anything because their job is always changing.

Today's nurses might suction tracheostomies, monitor insulin pumps and inhalers or dispense condoms. They've come a long way since 1902, when the first school nurse worked in New York City to stem the spread of contagious diseases like diphtheria and scarlet fever.