State law addresses availability of school nurses.
Tennessee Code Annotated 49-3-359. BEP funding for teacher's supplies duty-free lunch periods and school nurses.
(1) There is included in the Tennessee BEP an amount of money sufficient to fund one (1) full-time public school nurse position for each three thousand (3,000) students or one (1) full-time position for each LEA, whichever is greater. An LEA may use the funds to directly employ a public school nurse or to contract with the Tennessee public school nurse program, created by § 68-1-1201(a), for provision of school health services; provided, that after the BEP is fully funded, an LEA must use the funds to directly employ or contract for a public school nurse as provided for in this subsection (c) or must advise the department of education that the LEA has affirmatively determined not to do so, in which case the LEA shall notify the department of the election against providing the service and the alternative arrangement that the LEA has made to meet the health needs of its students.
Tennessse Administrative Rules and Regulations 1200-11-5-.02 Philosophy and Purpose
1) School health is a systematic program of activities designed to support the educational process through the maintenance and improvement of the physical and mental health status of students and staff. It places emphasis on prevention, case finding, early intervention, and remediation of health problems with additional focus on health education, counseling, and a healthful, safe school environment.
(2) As recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Tennessee Department of Health and Environment believes that strong school health programs are critical in insuring that students stay in school until graduation and also in insuring that they achieve the greatest possible benefit from their school experiences. According to the 1980 census, only 56.2 percent of Tennesseans 25 years of age and older have high school diplomas. While not all cases of school dropout or school failure can be attributed to health-related causes, it appears that student educational outcomes can be significantly improved when a strong school health program is linked with a strong educational program. It is indisputable that healthy students learn better and that a well-educated citizenry is essential for the future of our state.
(3) The primary target group for the program is Tennessee's public school students. However, because students' health behaviors are influenced by the attitudes and behaviors of their adult role models, some risk assessment and/or health promotion activities may be offered to parents/guardians, teachers and school staff.
(4) The purpose of these rules and regulations is to ensure that the provisions of T.C.A. §§ 68-1-1201 through 68-1-1206, are implemented.
(5) The rules and regulations establish the structure of a state coordinated public school nurse program to ensure its smooth functioning in striving to improve and safeguard the physical and mental health and well-being of the student population of Tennessee's public schools.