The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), today announced $8.3 million in funding to support K-12 school health service staff in schools throughout the state. This first-of-its-kind funding will support hiring and retention for school nurses and health staff in K-12 schools and provide funding for school nurses to pursue wellness activities and professional development. In partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), 12 regional Wisconsin Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESAs) will distribute funds to schools. This funding will improve children’s health by supporting the school health workforce. Funds can be used to hire new nurses and health coordinators, retain those staff through retention bonuses, and extend the hours of existing health staff. This funding will also provide nurses wellness and professional development opportunities. Pipelines to support the education of future school nurses has also been made possible through this funding and in partnership with University of Wisconsin—Madison, School of Nursing.

“What’s best for our kids is what’s best for our state, and that means making sure our kids have the support they need to be their best selves both in and out of the classroom,” said Gov. Evers. “School nurses and health staff play an essential role in our kids’ well-being, and these funds will go a long way in helping hire new staff to fill these critical positions and ensuring existing staff have the tools and resources to support our kids when they need our help the most.”

“Over the last two years, Wisconsin’s school nurses have shouldered a major physical and emotional toll due to the COVID-19 pandemic while providing critical services to Wisconsin children,” said State Health Officer Paula Tran. “This funding acknowledges the need to support school health staff and will strengthen the school nurse workforce by boosting retention efforts through competitive salaries and hiring.”

View the entire news release.

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