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A survey of school nursing provision in the UK

Merrell, Joy, Carnwell, Ros, Williams, Anne Melita, Allen, Davina Ann and Griffiths, Lesley 2007. A survey of school nursing provision in the UK. Journal of Advanced Nursing 59 (5) , pp. 463-473. 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.04310.x

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Abstract

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to map school nursing provision across the health and education sectors in Wales to identify the number, age, qualifications, terms of employment, location, functions and access to continuing professional development and clinical supervision of school nurses. Background.  School nurses are important in promoting the health of school-aged children. Increased demands have arisen from changes in patterns of health, illness and lifestyles. Methods.  An interview survey was conducted with a purposive sample of school nursing/health visiting managers from 13 healthcare sector providers, senior personnel officers from 22 Local Education Authorities and 45 head teachers/school nurses from independent schools. Data were collected between March and June 2004 and the overall response rate exceeded 80%. Results.  A total of 249 school nurses were identified: 90% employed by the healthcare sector and 10% by the education sector. An ageing, under-developed and under-resourced service was identified. Disparity in practice within and across the sectors was evident, resulting from lack of policy direction regarding the scope and content of school nursing services. Workforce size, age and educational profile pose challenges for service delivery. Conclusion.  Investment in recruitment and education is required if school nurses are to meet increasing demands and fulfil their public health role. The low percentage of school nurses aged under 30 years may reflect lack of a career pathway and understanding of school nursing. The findings enable national and international comparisons in terms of numbers, size of caseload, age, qualifications, terms of employment and activities and functions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Uncontrolled Keywords: empirical research report; policy; professional development; school nursing; survey; telephone interviews; workforce issues
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:44
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/43996

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