Become a School Nurse
School Nurse Training and Education Requirements
To become a school nurse, it is mandatory to first earn a nursing degree from an accredited program. State requirements vary, so it is important to learn the requirements in your state before choosing a nursing program. Some states may also require a master’s degree, or a teaching certificate, or a specialized certificate in school nursing. School nurses are usually hired by private schools or universities, the Department of Health, the Board of Education, or other public health departments or agencies. Click here to find an accredited program for school nurses.
Job Description and Duties
A school nurse is a specialized path in nursing that centers around caring for students and helping ensure their well-being. School nurses are responsible for promoting health, providing screening, and intervening when there are health problems. They ensure that students and the school meet compliance with state health regulations, monitor immunizations, administer some medications, care for students with chronic health problems, provide screenings or referrals for health problems, and also provide some basic health education for students. They also serve as a liaison between students, families, and healthcare providers. The American Academy of Pediatrics describes the school nurse as having a “central management role,” in which they are responsible for working with doctors, specialists, and public health agencies to be certain that children are served with complete health services.
School Nurse Salary and Job Outlook
Healthcare is one of the fastest growing professions in the country, with nursing facing many shortages while healthcare organizations both private and public struggle to fill nursing positions with qualified applicants. Additionally, health services and education have come together to fill a need and demand for more complex and extensive school health services. Schools today are taking on more and more responsibility for students’ well-being, and school nurses play a huge role in this new paradigm, orchestrating these services in a way to best serve the school and its students.
The salary for a school nurse can vary, and depends on school, region, and years of experience. According to salary.com, the national median is $43,000. In many states, school nurses are on the same pay scale as teachers, and in general earn less than full-time registered nurses working in hospitals. However, they also receive the same benefits that teachers do, and would have their summers off.
Explore the accredited nursing programs below. Remember that states vary in their requirements to become a school nurse, but all school nurses must hav an RN license. Most states require a bachelor's degree while many are now requiring a master's degree. Here you will find listed a number of online RN to BSN programs as well as several MSN and school nurse certificate programs. Request information from those programs that best fit your needs to learn more.