Third-grade student Cheyenne Snow talks with Taneyville School Nurse Chelsie Burkhart.
A school nurse is a luxury that many students and staff in larger school districts likely take for granted; however, Taneyville School District Superintendent Dr. Tim Taylor will not soon forget how fortunate his district is to have a nurse on staff.
Thanks to a $38,204 Skaggs Legacy Endowment grant, when students returned to school after the holiday break, they were joined by the district’s new licensed practical nurse. It was be the first time the district has had a school nurse since eliminating the position several years ago in an effort to save money.
“The school nurse responsibilities were added to the building secretary’s position,” Taylor explained. “It has saved money and it has worked, but it certainly hasn’t worked well. With no formal training or background in health care, our secretary has been doing the best she can.”
The district’s K-8 enrollment is approximately 200 students and includes students who have asthma, life-threatening food allergies, and more. Taylor said the secretary was seeing an average of 15 students a day, which proved to be very challenging for someone who also has fulltime secretary duties.
“We were honored to assist the Taneyville School District in hiring a school nurse,” said Skaggs Foundation Grants Administrator Heather Zoromski. “This is an important position in any school. We are pleased to know that Taneyville students will have a highly trained nurse ready to provide the quality care and comfort students need, when they need it most.”
The Skaggs Legacy Endowment grant will provide a fulltime nurse who will help establish a collaborative relationship with Taney County community health care resources, educate staff members on nursing best practice protocols and procedures and assist with the development of a nurse sharing program that will be implemented at the end of the grant cycle. After the grant cycle, Taylor said they plan to continue with a half-time nurse Taneyville School District will share with a neighboring district.
“The nurse sharing program will enable the district to enjoy all of the benefits of a school nurse, but at half of the cost,” Taylor explained.
Skaggs Legacy Endowment was made possible by a $25 million gift from CoxHealth to Skaggs Foundation in 2013.