Teaching and pediatric nursing have to be two of the most honorable and rewarding professionals in today’s modern world. Professionals in education settings help mold tomorrow’s young minds, while nurses that specialize in pediatrics help keep children as healthy as possible. …”

If you’re torn between these two professions, a school nurse career could be just the thing for you.

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What is a School Nurse?
What do School Nurses Do?
Where do School Nurses Work?
How do I Become a School Nurse?

What is a School Nurse?

As you probably already know, a school nurse is a nursing professional that works in schools and other educational facilities. In fact, school nurses are some of the most important and necessary faculty members in all schools.

In the past, school nurses were simply nurses that happened to work in schools. They were responsible for caring for ill and injured children, as well as containing communicable diseases under control. Today, however, school nurses are much more. Not only do they care for ill and injured students, but they also help teachers create a more effective learning environment by recognizing students’ developmental abilities.

To become a school nurse, you should have a true desire to work with and help children and students, and strive to help children reach their full potential. Also, it goes without saying that you must be able to effectively communicate with both children and their parents.

What do School Nurses Do?

School nurses tackle issues such as the physical and emotional health of the students, as well as assist in curriculum creation. A School nurse is an instrumental part of a healthy school environment.

As a school nurse, you will often be responsible for checking the physical health of new students. This often involves giving new students brief physical examinations and discussing medical history with parents to ensure that all students are healthy enough to attend school.

There are also several common physical problems that school nurses may encounter each and every day. For instance, you may need to care for students suffering from common problems like fevers, runny noses, and stomach aches. You should also be prepared to treat injuries as well, which could range from minor to serious.

Communication with parents is another very important part of being a school nurse. You will be required to notify parents of illnesses and injuries, for instance. Some students will also have chronic illnesses, like asthma or ADHD, that require special care or medication, which you must administer. Being aware of and understanding these problems is imperative, so open communication between you and the parents is important.

Besides treating physical illnesses, you will also be responsible for preventing illnesses and outbreaks as well. In order to do this, you will be required to quarantine sick students and making sure that they are up to date on vaccinations and immunizations.

School nurses also work hard to educate students and parents as well. They may act as health educators, for instance, and organize programs addressing common health issues that may affect students. Issues that school nurses may address may include good hygeine, illness prevention, learning disabilities, self-esteem, and sexual health.

Where do School Nurses Work?

School nurses work primarily in educational institutions, most commonly public and private elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. A school nurse might also be able to find a position as a school nurse in children’s homes or juvenile correctional facilities.

How do I Become a School Nurse?

In the United States, school nurses must hold a current license as a registered nurse. To become licensed, you’ll first need to earn your bachelor’s of science in nursing. While doing so, you should take several courses in pediatric and family health. You will also need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Below is the educational path for an School Nurse (lowest to highest level of education)

Educational TrackSchool ProgramsAverage Education LengthChoosing Online or Campus
Earn a Bachelors DegreeView Programs4 Years Online or Campus
Earn a MSN DegreeView Programs2 Additional YearsOnline or Campus
Earn a PHD or DNPView Programs2-4 Additional YearsOnline or Campus

School nurse certification can be obtained through the National Board for Certification of School Nurses. In addition to being a registered nurse, you must also have 1,000 hours of clinical nursing experience within the prior three years.