A school nurse is a registered nurse with an ASN or BSN in nursing who is qualified to work with kids, grades Kindergarten through 12th grade. The job responsibilities for a school nurse include tending to sick or injured students, administering mandatory (and parent/doctor-approved) medications, recording symptoms, taking temperatures and vital signs, and when necessary, calling parents for student pickup. Other job requirements may include educating groups of students on issues such as disease prevention and ways to promote nutritional health. Some schools implement a ‘healthy foods’ program which can involve the school nursing staff as educators.
How To Become a School Nurse
To become a school nurse, you’ll need to first become an RN. Becoming a registered nurse begins with either an associate of science in nursing or a bachelor of science in nursing. You can work as a school nurse with either of these degrees. A bachelors in nursing (BSN) will better qualify you for district nurse jobs or other higher-paying school nurse administrative positions. An ASN (associate of science in nursing) is sufficient for getting basic school nurse jobs, as long as the competition is low.
Once you’ve completed your nursing school program, you’ll be eligible to take your NCLEX RN exam which qualifies you to work as a registered nurse. Finally, you’ll need to pass your school nurse certification through the National Board for Certification of School Nurses. That certification requires that you’ve had at least 4000 hours of clinical experience or academic experience. Not all districts require that school nurses have their certification to begin working so you may be able to start your experience before you’re certified. Obtaining a nursing certification is always a good idea, whether it’s required or not. It improves hiring potential in the event that you find yourself looking for a new school nurse job.
Some of the nations most popular nursing programs include Denver School of Nursing , NYU College of Nursing, UAB School of Nursing, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Cochran School of Nursing, Galen College of Nursing, and University of Maryland School of Nursing, just to name a few. And even some of the best nursing schools in the nation offer online nursing programs. Online nursing school is a fantastic way to obtain your education while you continue to work or care for a family. Some of the best online nursing schools, according to U.S. News & World Report include St. Xavier University, George Washington University, University of Alabama – Huntsville, and Ball State University School of Nursing. Other top-notch online nursing programs are offered through Kaplan University, Capella University, Walden University, Saint Joseph’s College Online, or Grand Canyon University.
National Association of School Nurses
Practically every nursing field is represented and supported by an association. This is a great resource for obtaining licensure and certification information regarding the field. The association for school nurses is fittingly entitled National Association of School Nurses. Their website offers articles from the Journal of School Nursing, updates of practices and partnerships, and response to various current events related to the nursing field or schools around the nation. Associated continuing education programs include Emergency Triage training, H.A.N.D.S. Diabetes program, and tools/skills to deal with childhood obesity and asthma.
School Nurse Salary
Basic school nurse salary is around $45,000 per year but can pay upwards of $68,000 per year based on experience and location. School district nurse salary is around $55,000 per year.