Rural School Nurses Face Challenges in Colorado: A Qualitative Study

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Rural school nurses are on the front lines of providing health care for children and families in rural Colorado, but there is little research from their perspective. To fill this gap, a descriptive phenomenological study examined the experiences of nine rural school nurses through in-person audiotaped interviews. Analysis of data revealed three main themes: (1) rural school nurses’ efforts to meet students’ extensive physical and mental health issues, (2) school nurses struggle to help rural students in extreme poverty, and (3) communication challenges experienced by rural school nurses. The findings of this study give voice to the experiences and challenges faced by rural school nurses in southern Colorado.

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