The September 2005 workforce census showed that there were 2,887 (1,913 full-time equivalent) qualified nurses working in the school nursing service in England, an increase of 478 (19.8 per cent) since 2004. Of these, 943 (665 full-time equivalent) have a post-registration school nursing qualification, an increase of 87 (10 per cent) since 2004.
The Department of Health, along with the Department for Education and Skills, is continuing to ensure that the profile of school nurses remains high nationally. In partnership, the departments have published Looking for a school nurse? and a school nurse practice development resource pack, which will support the expansion and development of the school nursing service.
Ministers and the Chief Nursing Officer continue to communicate the importance of school nurses to the National Health Service, and work with professional bodies to promote their modern role. Managers will need to develop their workforce to support their local school nursing services in ways best suited to the needs of their community.