On Monday, August 28, the Oldham County Board of Education approved the addition of seven registered nurses to OCS staff, which will bring the district total to 17 nurses.

"Based on the needs of our students and looking at our financial situation, adding seven this year will get us well on our way to getting a nurse in every school, knowing that we still have some work to do next year," said Oldham County Schools Superintendent Greg Schultz. The hope is to add two more next year, which would result in a registered nurse in every school.

As our enrollment increases, so does the number of students with complex medical needs. "Nearly 14% of our students have some type of chronic health condition," said Lisa Burgess, Director of Health Services for Oldham County Schools. "We have 45 students alone with type 1 diabetes. For whatever reason, these numbers are increasing and these students require close monitoring."

In addition to tending to simple health issues and administering medication, school nurses also tend to chronically ill students needing care on a daily basis, train staff on various medical procedures, and administer annual vision and hearing screenings to students.

Student well-being and education is of the utmost importance to OCS. By increasing the number of nurses to 17, students will have quicker access to care and nurses will be better prepared for an emergency. Additionally, by having a dedicated nurse on campus, there will be increased opportunity for implementing health and wellness education in the classroom and on campus.

According to the Kentucky School Nurses Association, only 46% of US schools have a full time nurse and only 44% of KY public schools have a full time nurse. The goal of the Kentucky Nurses Association is to have a nurse in every KY school by 2018.