More nurses for schools

An increase in the investment in school-based health services means there will now be a nurse in every decile three secondary school.

Currently, only decile one and two school have fully government funded nurses.

Deciles are otherwise known as Socio-Economic Decile Bands, a decile is a group into which similar schools in New Zealand are placed.

New Zealand Nursing policy adviser/researcher, Dr Jill Clendon says although the Government has announced this new funding as a way to improve youth mental health, she says it will also have a positive impact in reducing health care disparities.

“The evidence suggests that nurses in schools improves the health of students, improves healthy behaviours such as being smokefree and improves attendance at school.”

She says this is an important initiative.

“We hope to see the programme rolled out across all schools. All children and youth deserve to have access to health care in their community.

“Nurses in schools are an ‘ambulance at the top of the cliff’ initiative. I hope the services students are referred to are well-resourced to respond.”

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