2005-03-11 / Community

Addabbo Calls For School Nurses

City Councilmember Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. announced that the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) is actively recruiting professional nurses to work in School Health in an effort to provide nurses for public and non-public elementary schools. Addabbo said that while the Bureau of School Health at DOHMH has intensified its efforts to hire school nurses, recruitment is complicated by a national and local nursing shortage.

The councilman noted that DOHMH has taken many proactive steps to improve nurse recruitment including temporally easing the historical requirement of one year of work experience for new nurses who do not have a bachelor’s degree.

“The School Health position is a rewarding one, and offers nurses the opportunity to utilize their nursing skills and to promote the health and wellness of our school children,” said Addabbo.

Councilman Addabbo said that last year he co-sponsored legislation in the Council that establishes requirements for the placement of nurses in the City’s public and private primary and intermediate schools.

Addabbo said the law mandates that the DOHMH provide one nurse for every private and public elementary school with at least 200 students and one nurse or Public Health Advisor for every private and public intermediate school with at least 200 students. “This legislation guarantees that every child’s right to be healthy and safe is realized,” said Addabbo, adding, “Sometimes the only thing standing between a child and a tragedy is a school nurse.” The councilman said he is hopeful that the recruitment for nurses proves to be successful.

School nurses would work a school year schedule, with no mandatory weekend work or overtime. The Department of Health expressed that nurses who are returning to work after a period of absence might appreciate the opportunity of returning to work in a supportive environment where education and mentoring are provided on a regular basis. The department also felt that nurses currently working in a hospital or long term care facility may welcome the weekday hours and emphasis on health promotion in our schools.

Nurses who might be interested in working in public or private schools are asked to contact Councilman Addabbo’s office at 718-738-1111 or Linda Fiore at 212-442-4748 or at LFiore@health.nyc.gov to obtain more information or forward a resume.

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