What Is School Nursing, and Is It the Right Career for Me?

Your interaction with a school nurse might have been getting some Band-Aids after falling on the playground when you were younger. Or perhaps your child got sick at school, and the nurse called you to come pick them up. In any case, you might think the duties of these health care professionals are relegated to simply taking children’s temperatures and spraying antiseptic on skinned knees. In reality, the job requires much more.

Although school nurses do provide first-aid care, they also offer preventative care, health education, counseling, and more. If you’re a nurse and enjoy working with children, this highly skilled health care position could be the career for you. Here, we’ll cover how to become a school nurse, typical duties of the position, salary, and more.

What It’s Like Being a School Nurse

If you think school nursing is the career you should pursue, you should know what duties the position entails and what you must do to become a successful school nurse.

What Do School Nurses Do?

School nurses do more than give you Tylenol for a headache. Let’s explore their roles and responsibilities, which can include:

  • Providing direct care to students during the school day
  • Enforcing vaccine mandates for school enrollment
  • Teaching best hygiene practices, like proper hand-washing techniques
  • Conducting screening clinics, such as vision and hearing checks
  • Promoting healthy programs, policies, and reporting within the school system
  • Helping educate students, families, and teachers on health topics
  • Encouraging proper nutrition and physical activity
  • Providing culturally competent care for each student’s individual needs
  • Developing health-related aspects in an emergency response plan
  • Serving as liaison between schools, parents, doctors, case managers, and teachers

Cómo convertirse en enfermero escolar

To be a school nurse, you must meet specific requirements, including obtaining the proper education. Most employers require a bachelor’s in nursing from an accredited college or university. You must also pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to prove your proficiency in nursing and gain licensure in the state you wish to practice. Additionally, it’s highly recommended to obtain the Nationally Certified School Nurse (NCSN) credential offered by the National Board for Certification of School Nurses (NBCSN), as it demonstrates your advanced knowledge and skills in school nursing.

How Much Does a School Nurse Make

According to Salary.com, these health care professionals earn an average annual salary of $55,822, though the typical range is between $44,597 and $70,466. Salary depends on many variables, including education, certification, skills, location, and years spent in the profession.

Where Can a School Nurse Work?

You may be wondering if being a school nurse means you’ll be limited to public schools over your career. That’s not entirely true. You could work in a number of settings, including public schools, private schools, vocational schools, colleges and universities, summer camps, U.S. military bases, and more.

Most nurses keep daytime working hours during the school year, when students are present. They often have nights and summers off, providing a flexibility that allows for an attractive work-life balance.

How Can Excelsior Help Me Get Started?

Are you interested in becoming a school nurse? Do you want to pursue your degree in nursing? Excelsior University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing is an excellent choice to help you earn your nursing degree. In this online program, you’ll build on your existing knowledge with new skills and practical advice, receiving comprehensive support to ensure that you’re fully prepared for any career in the nursing profession. And if you’re a working LPN or LVN who hasn’t yet earned your RN license, Excelsior provides an academic path to earn both an Associate in Applied Science in Nursing and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, seamlessly moving you from one degree to the next, preparing you to demonstrate your RN-level competency, and supporting you throughout the process.

School nursing can allow you to make a difference in the lives of students and families. If you’re looking for a way to impact community health and education, a career as a school nurse might be for you. By pursuing a bachelor’s in nursing, you could be on your way to this unique and rewarding career. Moreover, with experience and further education, you could advance to roles such as school health supervisor, school health coordinator, or even director of nursing services in a school district.