Salem-Keizer added school nurses

By DEREK WILEY Of the Keizertimes Nearly half of school nurse positions were cut in Oregon between 2010 and 2015, according to a report released in September by the Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA), Oregon School Nurses Association (OSNA), Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) and Upstream Public Health. But Eric Richards, director of student services, said that’s not the case in Salem-Keizer. “In our district, we have not had a trend in the number of nurse FTE (full-time employees) going down or even staying steady, it’s going up,” Richards said. “We’ve probably added two and a half to three positions over that time (2010-15). Richards added the district also hasn’t had a difficult time finding qualified nurses. “We had a full time position come open this year and we had four outstanding finalists, any of whom we would have been very happy with and we have a new person starting this year,” he said. “We had a great applicant pool. We were able to fill that. We haven’t felt the affects of any nursing shortage in our district, whatsoever.” Lynn Lanham, a registered nurse in the Salem-Keizer school district for over 20 years, agreed with Richards. “We have more help than we use to,” she said. “I think people are recognizing the level of care that the students need has certainly gone up. We’re better off than many other school...

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