NYC schools are 150 nurses short with reopening on the horizon

Fifth-grader Marcques Haley, 10, gets his temperature checked by the school nurse, Rachel White, before entering the building on Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, at Stephens Elementary School in Little Rock, Arkansas.AP

City schools are still 150 nurses short of fulfilling Mayor de Blasio’s promise to put one in every building before classes begin in two weeks, the Post has learned.

The city has hired 250 nurses as of Thursday, in hopes of fulfilling de Blasio's Aug. 13 vow that 400 be recruited, according to the agency.

“We are on track to fill our need by the first day, as promised,” Department of Education spokesman Nathaniel Styer said.

Stats show a different trajectory.

If hiring continues at the current rate of 63 new nurses a week, schools will still be 25 nurses short when kids return on Sept. 21.

De Blasio vowed last month that the city-run Health and Hospitals Corporation would be tasked with hiring the 400 nurses. There are 359 openings, but it is expected there will be more vacancies after accounting for medical exemptions.

The declaration came less than two weeks after the agency told The Post it had yet to establish a plan for filling the nursing gap — an issue New York City schools have been dealing with for years and parents are raising alarms about.

“So, to all the folks who have been raising that concern, I hear you loud and clear. And that will be in place. We have a whole month until school begins and we're going to be ready to do great things for our kids,” de Blasio said on Aug. 13.

School nurse Beverly Yoder puts on a pair of gloves at Conrad Weiser West Elementary School in Womelsdorf, PA.MediaNews Group via - Getty Images

Job advertisements posted last month show contracting agencies literally begging nurses to come work in city schools.

“Our children need you now — more than ever!! Please apply ASAP!” Comprehensive Resources Inc. wrote in a recent ad.

The contracted nurses will not receive the six weeks of training full-time nurses employed directly by the city receive, and instead undergo an expedited training that takes up to four days, officials said.

Councilman Mark Treyger, who chairs the Education Committee, said he fears the nurse-vacancy rate could be much higher as many nurses have sought medical exemptions ahead of the upcoming school year.

"They promised 400 more nurses, but the number is still fluid. In my district, I am told one of my schools, their nurse was granted a medical accommodation, so it's very likely the number of actual vacancies have increased," Treyger said. "I don't think the number is even adequate. Whoever drew up this guidance, doesn't live in the real world."

New York Post (Original link)

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