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Careers in Nursing | School Nurse

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School Nurse 

Career Overview

The school nurse practices professional nursing within an educational setting with the goal of assisting students to develop to their greatest physical, emotional, and intellectual ability. School nurses promote health and safety practices and provide interventions to actual and potential health problems. These nurses respond to acute injuries within the school population, as well as assist students to manage chronic conditions, such as food allergies, asthma, and other illnesses. Practice settings include school systems, state health departments, and county health departments.


RN preparation is required. Some school systems and/or health departments now require that school nurses have baccalaureate or master’s degrees in nursing. Certification is available from the National Board for Certification of School Nurses.


  • General experience with children
  • Strong foundation in physical assessment and first aid and emergency care
  • Solid skill base and understanding of pediatric medicine
  • Knowledge of developmental stages in order to provide age-appropriate care
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills to assess and determine the
    health care needs of the children and their families
  • Computer skills to chart and track students’ records and immunization status
  • Ability to relate to children and communicate with patients and the school
  • Ability to provide health education
  • Medication management of children while they are in school
  • Skill to participate as a member of a multidisciplinary educational team and
    collaborate with other members of the educational environment
  • Ability to provide care for minor ailments such as a scraped knee as well as
    potentially serious conditions such as an allergic reaction or a major injury
  • Ensure the safety and well-being of all the children in the school
  • Ability to deal with issues such as school violence, suicide, and unwanted teen


Relevant Articles

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School Nurse Resources

Fast Facts for the School Nurse image

Fast Facts for the School Nurse


Fast Facts for the School Nurse provides quick access to information that busy school nurses need to practice competently and efficiently. Written by a nurse with more than 25 years of school nursing experience, this consistently organized reference offers straightforward guidelines to a range of daily tasks and nursing responsibilities. It provides clinical protocols for safe management of common childhood illnesses, accidents, and emergencies, along with legal and ethical considerations, documentation, and high-risk areas in school nursing practice.The fourth edition has been substantially revised. Of significance is the first chapter which provides Words of Wisdom from school nurses and self-help guidance. Included also is expanded coverage of mental health issues, gender identity and transgenderism, and drug use. Information on technology in the school health office will also be updated. In addition, the new edition features new information on the COVID-19 pandemic and it...

School Nursing: The Essential Reference image

School Nursing: The Essential Reference


Delivers the critical information school nurses need for effective practiceSchool Nursing: The Essential Reference provides comprehensive coverage of school nursing—from key foundational principles and best practices for the care and management of students to the future of school nursing practice. Edited and authored by experts in the field, this multidisciplinary reference offers full background on the scope and standards of school nursing, interdisciplinary practices, coordinated school health programs, cultural competency, and laws and ethics. It also provides tools for the school nurse to thrive as an advocate, health educator, and leader.School Nursing: The Essential Reference provides evidence-based clinical protocols for the management of acute and chronic illnesses and issues confronted by the marginalized student. Sexual orientation and gender identity are explored, as are violence toward self and others, emergency and disaster preparedness, and the impact of C...

The Nurse Professional image

The Nurse Professional


"Nursing school did not adequately prepare me for this role" and "Why didn't anyone tell me about this when I was a student?" are commonly heard complaints from new nurses during their first two "rite of passage" years following graduation. But this transition to professional practicefraught with challenges, anxiety, triumphs, and tearsdoes not have to be so difficult. The Nurse Professional helps novices prepare for their transition into a "real world" role from being a student through graduation, NCLEX success, job search, first job, and beyond. It is the only book to cover all of the steps that new nurses must take to ensure a smooth transition into the professional role. The author is a nurse educator and mentor with extensive experience in recruiting and orienting nurses. Dr. Hunt is also co-founder of the Nurse Advocacy Forum, providing advocacy, support, networking, professional development, leadership, and mentoring to students and new graduate nurses. She offers soun...