Libertyville District 70 seeking 'floater' registered nurse to assist at schools
Libertyville Elementary District 70 is looking for a registered nurse to work as a "floater" in schools to help with day-to-day functions and implement COVID protocols.
The district has posted the job opening and asked parents and staff members to share the information with family members or friends who are registered nurses and interested in making a change.
The role of school nurses already was becoming more complex before the pandemic hit in March 2020 and has grown exponentially since, Superintendent Matt Barbini and Chris Otto, director of special services, said in a letter this week.
"The relentless need for medical support, guidance, and treatment is taking its toll on medical providers across the nation -- with school nurses under tremendous pressure, as well," the letter read.
District 70 has five schools and until recently it had not experienced attrition now happening due to the heavy demands and competition for talent the pandemic placed on nurses, according to the letter.
But the district's floating nurse gave notice and will be resigning for an opportunity elsewhere.
District 70 has had a nurse at each school for more than 25 years. As COVID-19 demands increased, the district added health clerks at each school to help nurses.
Because substitutes are difficult to find, officials also added a floating nurse based at Highland Middle School who can work at any school or between schools as needed.
"We are appropriately staffed for nurses. It's just a very challenging time," said Robin Kollman, district spokesperson.
Health clerks remain in place at each school. The district is seeking assistance from contract agencies to fill the floating nurse position, according to Barbini and Otto.
"District 70 will continue to monitor needs in our health office and will adjust staffing levels as needed," families were informed.
Parents have been asked to continue the practice of keeping kids home if they have any COVID symptoms. They also were told a school nurse will get back to them if needed, but the response won't be immediate due to competing demands in each health office.
Also, in a new practice, nurses will respond only to inquiries during normal hours, which are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at elementary schools and 8:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at Highland Middle School.
The move was made to provide nurses with needed rest to "continue functioning at a high level," according to the district. Parents were asked to consider reviewing the Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Public Health FAQ documents for guidance if a school nurse is not available.
"The pandemic continues to challenge us and we are all stretched thin -- District 70 (employees) are no different and we must take swift and decisive action to support them," parents were told.