In July of 2021, the CDC Covid-19 Crisis Response Workforce Cooperative Agreement awarded Nebraska DHHS $12.3 million dollars, $3.6 million of which is allocated to Nebraska School-based Health Program Support. Using work-study opportunities for students in Nebraska state-approved nursing programs, we aim to provide nursing support to any K-12 school expressing need and expand the Nebraska public health workforce.
The goal is to develop a pipeline program to place nursing students and graduate nurses not currently working in school health settings. This supports health and well-being of students and families and provides an opportunity for nursing students to get real-world experience in a school health setting. This also provides student nurses an opportunity to experience a different work setting and potentially lead to a job upon graduation.
Over the course of the past year, three nursing programs have developed curriculum for a school-based health program. The program will begin in January of 2023. Grant funding will be used by the nursing programs to support clinical experiences for nursing students and graduate nurses who are passionate about health of the community and school health.
Nursing students will be placed in K-12 schools across the state of Nebraska. Over the course of one or several semesters, students will be exposed to a broad overview of public health issues at the local level. Nursing students will participate in a comprehensive program including, needs assessments, school testing, health education and adding support to keep the general population safe. In addition, students will be able to attend seminars and trainings offered by NEDHHS during their enrollment (time and project requirements permitting).