The Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey, Red Bank, N.J., has received a $25,000 grant from The Horizon Foundation of New Jersey to continue funding the school-based nurse practitioner health services program in the Asbury Park, Carteret, Keansburg, Red Bank and Woodbridge school districts.
The program places NPs in schools alongside a school nurse to assess, diagnose and treat health conditions as well as provide preventive care and education. The NP teaches students, parents and school staff about the importance of making positive lifestyle choices.
Health education is provided in an effort to reduce risky behaviors for health conditions including obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The NP works through the schools to provide health screenings, immunizations, physicals and diagnosis and treatment of childhood health issues.
The NP also will prescribe medication for treatment of acute and chronic illness and provides ongoing chronic disease management.
The program is provided in 13 schools throughout the five districts in Middlesex and Monmouth counties. In 2013, NPs and supporting staff have averted an estimated 16,417 hours of school absenteeism while serving 2,203 students during 3,490 visits, according to a VNACJ news release.