The nurse's station at Slater Elementary School in Atlanta consists of two plastic chairs and a filing cabinet behind a folding screen in the assistant principal's office.

There is no cot. No computer. When the air conditioning fails, nurse Rethia Nickerson cracks open a window to help a 7-year-old with asthma breathe.

Nickerson is at the school only one day a week, and young patients line up well before the school


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