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Time to rehire school nurses – they save districts money!

Thinkstock / Catherine Yeulet

Thinkstock / Catherine Yeulet

The recession caused many school districts around the country to cut the hours of school nurses or eliminate the positions altogether, but a new report shows that having a full-time school nurse actually saves money for the schools.

The study is based on a cost-benefit analysis of 933 Massachusetts schools during the 2009-2010 school year. Researchers compared the cost of paying full-time school nurses versus the money saved by reducing doctor visits as well as increased productivity from both teachers and parents who don’t have to care for sick children.

Overall, the study found that it cost $79 million to pay nurses to provide full-time services in the schools. That same care outside of school would have cost $20 million. However, not having a school nurse would have cost $129.1 million in lost productivity for teachers; parents’ losses would have totaled $28.1 million.

For every dollar invested in school nurses, the study reported, overall savings would total $2.20.

Are you or have you been a school nurse? Have you seen these kind of savings? Let us know in the comments below.

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