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History of School Nursing

On October 1, 1902, Lina Rogers Struthers was the first nurse to be placed in the New York City school system in a one month experiment to attempt to reduce health-related absenteeism. At the end of the month the results were so promising that the New York City Board of Health continued her appointment. By December, 1902, she was named Superintendent of School Nurses with a staff of 12 nurses. Two months later, an additional 15 nurses were hired. During the first year health-related absenteeism was reduced by nearly 90%. As a result of the success of the experiment in New York, other large cities soon began hiring school nurses; Los Angeles (1904), Boston (1905), Philadelphia (1908) and Chicago (1910).

The ultimate goal of school nursing is to help keep students healthy so they can be in

school and receive the best education we have to offer. There is much work to be done to support the fact that “Every Kid Needs a School Nurse!”