School-based Health Nurse
The school-based youth health nurse service was established by the Queensland Government with 100 nurses in 1998 as a two-year trial to help address growing health issues faced by young people and to support healthy lifestyle choices.
The service has evolved and now has 160 clinical nurses placed in state secondary schools across Queensland. The service applies the principles of primary health care within the secondary school setting with consideration of contemporary public health care issues and utilising the social model of health.
Young people can face a range of barriers to healthcare such as having a limited knowledge of what services are available, confidentiality concerns, affordability, transport issues, or less experience in recognising health risks. A significant benefit of the service is that it allows young people to access healthcare within the safe and familiar setting of their school.