ECHO Colorado Project Coordinator Karen Shimamoto had the opportunity to attend presentations on school nurse programs across the state given by Mental Health Colorado on October 24 at the University of Denver. The information shared helped her better understand the current landscape of health care professionals in schools. She learned that the recommended ratio of school nurses to students is 1:750 and that currently, the ratio of school nurses to students in Colorado is 1:1,432.
Karen works closely with the School Health Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado (CHCO) to support professional development for school nurses in Colorado. School nurses have the unique, complex, and often times thankless job of coordinating care to improve whole child health. Learning about the severe shortage of school nurses and resources across the state, Karen is proud to be a part of the joint effort between ECHO Colorado and the School Health Program at CHCO to support this sector of healthcare, the professional development of school nurses, and to better improve the lives of K-12 students across the state.