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Sector leaders have called for action to address the steep decline in the number of school nurses in England, and have published a report exploring the issues. Kathy Oxtoby looks at the findings
The fall in the number of school nurses ‘represents a significant loss of expertise, knowledge, and skill at the cost of the health of young people' says the report.

School nurses are ‘crucial to child health and wellbeing, and ensuring young people reach
adulthood ready and resilient both physically and psychologically’. 1

Despite their value, the number of school nurses has been falling steadily. NHS England workforce figures show a 33% fall in the number of school nurses between 2009 and 2022.

Of the 1,945 staff in the latest count, only 852 were described as ‘qualified school nurses’, many of whom will no longer be practising as such.

The School and Public Health Nurses Association (SAPHNA), the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI), and the College of Medicine and Integrated Health have joined forces to draw attention to the issues and to push for urgent change. This includes a campaign to ensure there is a school nurse for every school. 

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