School nurses work for the state or county department of education. They can work in elementary, secondary, or college level schools, providing healthcare to students. School nursing is not a popular field due to the modest pay. However, many nurses find that the career is its own reward.
Educational Requirements for School Nursing
The majority of school systems hire registered nurses in the school nursing position. To become a RN, you must attend either a two year Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program or a four year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) course. These nursing schools require you to meet certain physical requirements, acquire immunizations for tetanus and hepatitis, score well on the ACT or SAT, and earn a solid score on the TEAS test. Also, many nursing programs require a personal statement essay, letters of recommendation, and good undergraduate grades.
School Nurse Certification
The National Board for Certification of School Nurses(NBCSN) offers credentialing for school nursing professionals. To become certified, you must hold an active, unrestricted RN license, have a BSN or higher degree, and have at least 1,000 hours of clinical school nursing experience.
School Nursing Career Opportunities and Salaries
Most school nurses work for elementary schools, high schools, or colleges. They serve as consultants for many facilities, offering training and education to staff members. Additionally, many school nursing professionals who go on to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree teach nursing students
The average salary of a school nurse varies, depending on level of education, years of nursing experience, place of employment, and location of worksite. According to some web sources, these healthcare workers earn anywhere from $38,000 to $58,000 per year. However, with a MSN degree, the nurse can earn much more.
Job Duties of the School Nurse
School nurses treat an array of illnesses and injuries. They are responsible for the care of students who become ill during school hours. Typical job duties include recording symptoms, taking vital signs, testing administering medications, administering first aid, and educating students, families, and teachers.
ANA (2013): http://www.nursingworld.org/
BLS (2010): http://www.bls.gov/