Career Development

What Does a School Nurse Do?

Find out what a school nurse does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a school nurse.

School nurses are responsible for the health and safety of students in schools. They work with a wide range of individuals, including teachers, administrators, other school staff members, parents, and students themselves.

School nurses may be involved in a number of different activities on any given day. These can include everything from administering vaccinations to providing counseling services or medical treatment to students who need it.

School Nurse Job Duties

School nurses have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Creating and implementing policies to promote student wellness and safety, such as encouraging children to wash their hands regularly to prevent the spread of germs
  • Monitoring students’ health status for signs of illness or stress, advising teachers on classroom management strategies, and recommending disciplinary measures as appropriate
  • Providing first aid to students when necessary, including administering medications and checking vital signs
  • Maintaining a supply of emergency medical equipment in case of accidents or injuries
  • Conducting health screenings to identify students at risk for certain illnesses or conditions
  • Coordinating with parents, teachers, and administrators to identify students with health concerns or special needs
  • Coordinating with school administrators to develop policies to support student health and safety, such as rules regarding nutrition, tobacco use, bullying, weapons, and substance abuse
  • Conducting annual physical examinations of all students in accordance with state regulations, including measuring height and weight, recording blood pressure, and conducting vision and hearing tests
  • Developing and implementing a plan to provide health services to all students, including those with special needs

School Nurse Salary & Outlook

School nurses’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of school they work in. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of overtime.

  • Median Annual Salary: $62,500 ($30.05/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $49,500 ($23.8/hour)

The employment of school nurses is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

Schools will continue to employ school nurses to ensure that students have access to healthcare services. Nurses will be needed to administer vaccinations and monitor the health of students with medical conditions. In addition, nurses will be needed to provide mental health services to students and address issues such as suicide prevention.

School Nurse Job Requirements

A school nurse typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: School nurses are typically required to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in nursing, with a focus on school nursing. Some school nurses choose to earn a master’s degree in nursing.

School nurses can also earn a degree in education, and they can choose to earn a degree in kinesiology or physical education. These degrees can help school nurses understand the physical and emotional needs of students.

Training & Experience: School nurses receive most of their training through their education and work experience. They may also receive additional training through a practicum or internship. During a practicum, a student works under the supervision of a school nurse to gain hands-on experience. An internship is similar to a practicum, but it usually occurs during the final year of a program.

Certifications & Licenses: A school nurse must be licensed by the state in which they practice. Requirements vary from state to state, but most require candidates to have completed an accredited nursing program and pass a clinical exam. Some states also require candidates to pass a criminal background check and complete a clinical experience.

School Nurse Skills

School nurses need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: School nurses often communicate with students, parents and faculty members. They should be able to explain medical conditions and treatments to students and parents in a way that is easy to understand. They should also be able to communicate with faculty members about students’ health and any accommodations that may be necessary.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. School nurses often work with students who are experiencing a wide range of emotions, including fear, anxiety, sadness and anger. Having the ability to understand and empathize with students can help school nurses better communicate with them and help them feel more comfortable.

Time management: School nurses often have many responsibilities to fulfill in a short period of time. Having strong time management skills can help them prioritize their tasks and manage their time wisely. This can help them meet the needs of their students and colleagues while also maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Medical knowledge: School nurses often have extensive medical knowledge and experience. They may have a background in nursing or a related medical field. School nurses often have extensive medical knowledge and experience. They may have a background in nursing or a related medical field. School nurses may also have a background in education and experience working with children.

Leadership: School nurses often work in teams with other school staff, including teachers and administrators. Effective school nurses know how to lead and inspire their colleagues to work toward common goals. They can use their leadership skills to motivate their teams and help them achieve their goals.

School Nurse Work Environment

School nurses work in a variety of settings, including public and private schools, clinics, and health care facilities. They may also work in community health centers, camps, and other settings. They typically work during school hours, although they may be required to work before and after school, on weekends, and during holidays and summer recesses. School nurses may be required to travel to different schools or sites to provide care. They may also be on call to provide care after school hours and on weekends. The work can be physically and emotionally demanding, as school nurses must be able to handle a variety of medical emergencies and deal with the emotional needs of students, parents, and staff.

School Nurse Trends

Here are three trends influencing how school nurses work. School nurses will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Mental Health Services in Schools

The need for more mental health services in schools is a growing trend that is being driven by the increasing prevalence of mental health issues among students. This has led to an increased demand for school nurses who are trained in providing mental health care.

As schools become more aware of the importance of mental health, they will begin to hire more school nurses who can provide support and treatment for students who are struggling with mental health issues. This will allow schools to provide better care for their students and help them achieve success both academically and socially.

More Collaboration Between School Nurses and Other Professionals

School nurses are increasingly collaborating with other professionals in order to provide the best possible care for students. This includes working with teachers, counselors, and administrators to create a supportive environment for students.

As schools continue to focus on student well-being, school nurses will be in high demand to provide care and support for students. They will need to be able to work effectively with other professionals in order to create a positive environment for students.

A Focus on Prevention

As the field of healthcare continues to shift towards a focus on prevention, school nurses will play an important role in helping to keep students healthy.

School nurses can utilize their expertise to help educate students about healthy habits, such as eating right and getting enough sleep. They can also help to identify students who may be at risk for developing health problems and connect them with the resources they need to get help.

How to Become a School Nurse

A career as a school nurse can be incredibly rewarding. It offers the chance to make a real difference in the lives of children, and it provides an opportunity to work with a diverse range of people. However, before embarking on this path, it’s important to consider what it will entail.

As a school nurse, you will need to have a strong understanding of child development and health care. You will also need to be able to deal with a variety of situations that may arise in the school setting. This could include anything from minor injuries to serious illnesses. Additionally, you will need to be able to communicate effectively with students, parents, and other members of the school community.

Related: How to Write a School Nurse Resume

Advancement Prospects

School nurses advance in their careers in a variety of ways. Many school nurses begin their careers as registered nurses (RNs), and they may advance to become nurse practitioners (NPs). Some school nurses may also become certified school nurse educators (CSNEs), which allows them to teach other school nurses. Other school nurses may become certified school nurse administrators (CSNAs), which allows them to manage school nurse programs. Some school nurses may also choose to pursue a PhD in nursing, which would allow them to teach at the college level or conduct research.

School Nurse Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we believe that every student deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential. To help make this happen, we’re looking for a qualified school nurse to join our team. The ideal candidate will be a registered nurse with experience in pediatrics or school nursing. He or she will be responsible for providing direct nursing care to students, as well as performing health assessments, managing chronic health conditions, and providing health education. The school nurse will also collaborate with teachers, administrators, and other school staff to ensure that students have the best possible learning environment.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Provide direct nursing care to students in the school setting, including assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of acute and chronic health conditions
  • Develop and implement individualized health care plans for students with chronic health conditions
  • Collaborate with teachers, administrators, and other school personnel to promote student health and well-being
  • Serve as a resource to students, families, and staff on health-related topics
  • Promote healthy behaviors among students through education and counseling
  • Conduct screenings for vision, hearing, growth, and development
  • Administer immunizations and medications according to state law and school policy
  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date health records for all students
  • Participate in emergency preparedness planning and response
  • Consult with other school professionals to develop Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and Section 504 plans for students with special health care needs
  • Attend required trainings on topics such as CPR, first aid, bloodborne pathogens, and medication administration
  • Keep abreast of current trends and developments in school nursing practice

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Registered nurse with valid state license
  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing, preferred
  • School nurse certification
  • CPR/BLS certified
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds
  • Excellent communication, organizational, and time-management skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in nursing or related field
  • 2+ years of school nursing experience
  • Experience working with children with special needs
  • Familiarity with IEP process
  • Knowledge of state and federal laws and regulations pertaining to school health

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