‘Nurse extenders’ needed to lend helping hand for Pitt County schools

School Watch

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Pitt County Schools officials plan to resume in-person classes next week after two weeks of remote learning.

Elementary students and many middle and high school students return to classrooms Tuesday. To do that, though, the district needs more medical professionals to fill new positions.

These nurses needed are called “nurse extenders” and they are what Pitt County Schools officials are looking for to become a helping hand.

“There really is a need for nurse extenders to come alongside our school nurses and really provide that help that they need during this time,” said Pitt County Schools spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson. “With COVID-19 processing, our nurses are not only caring for our students’ normal health, everyday health and chronic illnesses but now they’re having to process and deal with COVID-19 on top of that.”

Johnson said these nurse extenders will be brought on to help complete tasks that nurses at the schools now are too busy to do.

“We have again processing COVID cases, helping our school nurses, entering data. Our nurse extenders will also be contacting parents,” said Johnson. “Those nurse extenders will also be contacting and speaking with parents and educating parents too about COVID-19 care.”

Nurse extenders will be short-term contractors, but Johnson says there will be opportunities to move into permanent positions.

“We already have seen that there is a real need, our nurses are already overextended so we are hoping that perhaps some of these employees will become long-term employees at Pitt County Schools,” said Johnson.

She said funding for extenders will come from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, also known as GEER. There will also be different pay scales based on a worker’s skill level.

“We are looking for LPN’s, CNA’s, just trying to see how many people are eligible and then determining how many we can hire. Based on their qualifications there are different pay scales for different qualifications so that will determine how many we hire,” said Johnson.

Johnson said they hope to have the nurse extenders in their schools as soon as possible. She said anyone interested in applying can visit the Pitt County Schools website for more information.

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