Families: More Than Band-Aids

School nurses are tackling new responsibilities as they care for a growing number of children with chronic diseases and disabilities

There was a point in Meri Jackson's life when she was embarrassed to say she was a school nurse. Rubbing elbows with neonatal nurse practitioners and emergency-room nurses who worked with cutting-edge medicine and lifesaving procedures, Jackson felt her nine-months-a-year battles with tummyaches paled by comparison. When she started her career in school nursing in 1976, she wasn't even allowed to administer immunizations.

Today it's a different story. Like most school nurses across the country, Jackson has seen her responsibilities grow dramatically in number and complexity. School nurses are managing care for more children with chronic conditions such as asthma and...

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