Assessing Workforce Needs and Opportunities for School Based Health Centers in California
School based health centers go beyond the traditional services of a school nurse to provide comprehensive care – including primary and mental health care – to students. The centers are seen as a way to reach populations that would otherwise not be receiving appropriate care. California has many such centers though policy makers and leaders in the field would significantly expand these programs if possible. Two of the biggest challenges have been insufficient funding and limited pools of qualified providers to work in the centers. Recent attention and funding available for school based health centers may provide the needed attention for more fully tapping into this delivery model. In addition, a set of research, planning and coordination elements are explored to help spread the model.