Fleming Co. Schools struggling with shortage of school nurses

Fleming Co. Schools struggling with shortage of school nurses
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 10:32 PM EST
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FLEMINGSBURG, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky school districts have faced many challenges since COVID-19 first disrupted class. Now, as cases rise in classrooms, school nurses are stretched thin.

“When we have to allocate nurses to deal with test-to-stay, or new exposures, it’s taking away from those traditional students,” Fleming County Superintendent Brian Creasman said.

In Fleming County, the need has greatly jumped in the last week. The district put out a call out for nurses Wednesday to help get them through this surge.

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“Right now it’s just manpower. We need more nurses just to try to help us get through the next several weeks to try to serve all of our students,” Creasman said.

Staffing shortages in other departments, like bus drivers, have forced districts to switch to virtual learning. Lee County schools will be using NTI days the rest of the week for staffing shortages. It’s a route Fleming County is hoping to avoid.

“It becomes a safety issue. If we can’t serve students, we can’t get enough staff, we have to shut down. We’re hoping that we don’t have to do that,” Creasman said. “We’ve only used two NTI days this year and that’s been weather related. Obviously having those in our back pocket helps. But we hope we can keep schools open.”

It’s a critical and immediate need to keep students healthy.

Fleming County does not enforce universal masking in their schools, but do highly recommend wearing them. Superintendent Creasman said he believes even if they did have universal masking, they’d still be faced with this issue, point out several school districts with masking mandates that have had to switch to remote learning.

The district said any RN or CNA interested in helping out, even on part-time scale, can call the board of education office.

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