WEST CHICAGO, Ill. – In a continued effort to improve education in Illinois, state Rep. Maura Hirschauer, D-Batavia, is introducing a measure to fund a study on school nursing capacity in Illinois.
“Countless low-income children with health conditions have most of their health needs met by school nurses, and the high level of care many of those nurses provide is a testament to their skill and dedication. It’s far from ideal, but school nurses provide a backstop when regular health services are unaffordable,” Hirschauer said. “However, the sad reality is that many kids in our communities don’t even have access to a school nurse. Illinois schools are facing a shortage, and it’s past time we get to work ending that. The study I am proposing will give us invaluable information on how to address this issue.”
In tandem with the Illinois Association of School Nurses (IASN), Hirschauer filed House Bill 5601, a measure to fund a study on school nursing capacity in Illinois. The study aims to understand the reasons for the current shortage and create new solutions to end it. Hirschauer has been a champion for revamping and improving education in Illinois; casting key votes on the House Appropriations: Elementary and Secondary Education committee, the House Child Care Accessibility and Early Childhood Education committee and the House Elementary and Secondary Education: School Curriculum and Polices committee.
Gloria Barrera, President of the IASN said, “Every child deserves access to a school nurse, no matter their zip code. Our goal is to achieve having a certified and licensed school nurse in every school district to supervise the health services program, that being said, we need the data to support that. We thank Representative Hirschauer for introducing HB5601 to appropriate $250,000 from the SBE Federal Department of Education Fund to the State Board of Education for a grant to contract with IASN to complete a study for school nursing capacity in this state, effective July 1, 2022. The data collected will help drive action for our work in the future. We are asking legislators to support this bill. They’ll be hearing from school nurses in their districts very soon to further explain why this is essential to school health here in Illinois.”