NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Metro Nashville schools are experiencing a nurse shortage as COVID-19 numbers rise in Tennessee.
Right now, 37 Metro Schools do not have a full-time nurse. As a result, some nurses are splitting time between schools, and families are understandably concerned.
At the latest school board meeting, MNPS director Dr. Adrienne Battle said there aren't enough to go around, and nurses are needed. She added that they are perhaps needed now more than ever, especially for too young children to get a vaccine.
Surging Covid-19 cases -- and the increasing proportion reported in children -- are causing many health experts to worry about the outlook as the school year gets underway across the entire country.
"I mean particularly now with the pandemic going on and these unvaccinated kids in school, yeah, it's distressing," parent George Teren said.
They're also frustrated since, these days, the nurse shortage isn't the only one affecting students. There also aren't enough bus drivers or substitute teachers. "Yeah, it's rough all the way around," parent Tony Hopkins said.
Battle said they are doing their best to recruit. But, until then, parents are having to do what they've already been doing over the past year.
"I mean, the kids are the most vulnerable part of our population right now, and they have no control over their destiny. They can't get vaccinated," Teren said.
MNPS needs 18 nurses to fill the schools so that every school will have a full-time nurse. They are also working to hire four additional nurses as a second nurse in four larger high schools.
They also want 10 for their floating pool, so the district is looking to hire a total of 32 nurses.