The average state-school nurse now has to look after over 2,500 children while taking on new work like HPV jabs, tackling obesity, and sexual health services.
The poll of over a thousand school nurses revealed each one covers seven schools on average.
Some nurses are responsible for up to 26 schools, say the RCN, despite a government pledge to have one in every secondary school by 2010.
Three-quarters of school nurses reported spending a ‘significant’ amount of time dealing with child protection issues.
Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, warned the numbers of school nurses working and being trained ‘are simply not keeping pace with the level of demand.’
‘If nurses are to take on an increasing role in child protection, the risks of not having enough staff are too high to contemplate,’ he said.
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