How to Become a School Nurse

If you are wondering how to become a school nurse in order to care for children in a local school district, you will want to read on to learn the best way to pursue this career. School nurses are in demand due to population growth in many regions and new schools being built. In addition to providing basic first aid and health care services, school nurses support a healthy environment in schools and teach healthy habits that students take with them as they mature. To learn more about getting started in this exciting career, here are some things you should know.

Requirements to Become a School Nurse

Frequently school nurses are no less than Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), but the majority, are Registered Nurses (RN). To be hired on in this day and age, you need to give yourself the education that is needed in order to find the right career, not necessarily just any job. Enroll in a quality nursing school offered by an accredited nursing college or university. As a school nurse, you will most likely have to go through a background screen and take additional training in order to understand the fundamentals of education and special needs students.  

Average Wages of School Nurses

An average salary for registered nurses who work as school nurses is around $62,000 USD a year, whereas licensed practical nurses in schools average around $28,000 USD annually, according to most recent statistics provided by the United States Department of Labor (www.dol.gov) Of course, you will need to research the annual salary ranges in the region in which you live before you decide which program is right for you. Some people decide that becoming an LPN is perfect, while still others decide to go on with their education after LPN training.

Duties of the School Nurse

In an average week, school nurses will be checking for bothersome head lice, bandaging bloody cuts from play ground accidents, and hunting down parents for sickly children that have come in to the office with a fever or stomach-aches. School nurses deal with a lot of bloody scrapes, runny noses, uncomfortable sore throats, and elevated fevers in addition to making endless phone calls to children’s’ parents. School nurses also coordinate with other wellness providers such as physical fitness coaches and school cafeteria workers to design programs for children to promote healthier lifestyles. So, as you can see, school nurses need a strong educational background before starting on their new careers.

Benefits of Being a School Nurse

Out of all the nursing careers, working with children in a school environment is perhaps one of the most rewarding occupations. Schools are places where children are open to learning new topics, including how to live a healthy lifestyle. School nurses also have the greatest influence over future generations when it comes to teaching the values of healthy eating, exercise and wellness habits. In addition, school nurses are able to have a direct influence over families within the school district by providing school-wide and community programs that support better living.