NZ School Nurses

AAAH Conference 2019

We were privileged to get to share the preliminary findings from our School Nursing Workforce and Employment Survey at the Australian Association of Adolescent Health Conference in November 2019, in central Melbourne, Australia.

 The conference was full of excited health professionals and researchers and young people all oozing with enthusiasm about Improving Health Outcomes for Young People. 

Our presentation was entitled 'Preparing for the future of SBHS'. We outlined our aims and methodology with our research....

and focused on the themes of our research findings... 

We summarised the keys findings from our survey- namely, 

1. The critical need for in-depth future workforce planning; due to the nature of an aging workforce, and over half of our survey respondents being over 50 years of age, investment is needed now to ensure a future workforce and to prevent loss of knowledge as an experienced generation of school nurses look to retire in the next ten years. 

2. National Standards; 

 - that the increasing 'scope-creep' where the school nurses role continues to be extended, clear parameters need to be set to ring fence the role and ensure School Nurses do not become too stretched beyond their ability to be effective health professionals.  

- to ensure consistency especially in terms of employment models, some of which were linked in our study to higher rates of burn out

- to ensure patient safety and continuous quality improvement

3. Further work at integrating multidisciplinary teams in schools, evidenced to provide the most improved support for young people (Denny et al, 2019). 

Our in-depth report is still being finalized, we look forward to much more conversation around how these things can best be achieved in the future. 

*Denny, S., Grant, S., Galbreath, R., Utter, J., Fleming, T., & Clark, T. (2019). An observational study of adolescent health outcomes associated with school‐based health service utilization: A causal analysis. Health services research, 54(3), 678-688.