Can I teach high school science with a BSN?

  1. Hi all,

    I would like to be a high school science teacher after a while of nursing, or if I burn out (whichever comes first). Does anyone know about or have experience with teaching high school with a nursing degree? I know there is a teacher shortage, especially for science and math teachers, but I'm not sure if I'll have the right qualifications to get a teaching credential.

    Thanks!
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   Liann
    Check with the your state's Dept of Education. You may need a year or two of education related classwork to get a teaching certificate if you already have a Batchelors degree.
  4. by   flowerchild
    In my state you can teach with a bachelors degree. Some teachers are certified and some are not but all have bachelor degrees. Many do teach outside of areas that they have their degree major. Your local school board probably has a web site. Check the site to see if they have a page for prospective teachers. Good Luck in what ever you decide to do with your degree.
  5. by   TheBrainMusher
    In order to teach, most states are requiring certification. In NJ, I know you need certification. To substitute you just need background etc. But to be a real teacher, you have to pass the PRaxis and go through a certified program (there are multiples ways to do this). Additionally to teach at the high school level, they will require proficiency in the subject you wish to teach. Liann was right, go to dept of education or your state ed website. ANother idea, look up colleges/universities nearby by and look up academic programs and what their educational requirements are to teach. Most of the time it will give you an idea how to start and some colleges have certificate programs. Hope this helps!
  6. by   PennyLane
    You could probably teach in a private school without certification. I went to one for 12 years and I know a few of people from my school went on to become teachers there straight out of college. A downside is that private schools don't pay as well, but generally the classes are smaller.
  7. by   P_RN
    In my state you can teach in a critical needs school (low student test scoring etc.) for one year but you have to be in the process of taking the education courses required of all teachers. My Niece did this with a Philosophy/History major. She teaches sophomore English.
  8. by   nessa1982
    I dont really have any advice but I want to do that too. Thats why after I get my ADN I will get my BSN so if I get burned out I can teach.
  9. by   colleen10
    Hi HuShi,

    I'm in Pittsburgh, PA, where unfortunately, we don't have a teacher shortage, but if you are interested check your state's Board of Ed. I know here in PA they recently passed legislation to allow those with a BS to teach classes but I think they have to go on to take classes in education. Also, rural areas that have a hard time finding teachers also require less qualifications.

    I have often thought that I would like to get my RN and then perhaps be a Health Ed. Teacher part time.

    Do you know any teachers in your area? They are probably the best people to talk to about "the teacher shortage" for your locale and what further education you may require. I have a number of teachers in my family and the local school districts often require new teachers to continue on and get their Masters within a certain time frame. My aunt is even a substitute school nurse and would very much like a permanent job as one and she has discovered that even she would have to go on to get her Masters.

    But it is different for every area depending on how desperate they are for teachers.
  10. by   JohnnyGage
    As others have mentioned, it varies from state to state. In Minnesota, however, you can teach in private schools without any teaching degree or certificate, just a bachelor's.
  11. by   RN2B2005
    I showed this post to my husband, who is a high school assistant principal, and has his B.A. in English, M.Ed. in Education, and M.Sc. in Educational Leadership. He's seen LOTS of teachers burn out in a hurry, so he didn't agree with the idea of going directly into education from nursing.

    The problem with so-called "need" or "leave-replacement" certification, which is where you go directly into the classroom without receiving your teaching certificate, is that you are pretty much thrown to the wolves. States that permit this sort of certification usually do so b/c of a shortage of teachers in the science and math fields. The burnout rate is extraordinarily high among CERTIFIED first-year teachers, and those teachers have had the training and know what to expect. Our marriage almost didn't survive Tom's first year of teaching; for every hour you spend in school, you spend at least another at home, creating lesson plans, grading papers, and doing other administrative tasks.

    Tom recommends that you check out your local university for fast-track certification options. In Tom's case, he did a two-year M.Ed. programme, where he earned both his Master's and his teaching certification. The certification gives you both mobility (most states have reciprocal licencing) and the education in the minutiae of teaching--lesson plans, classroom management, etc.

    One of the teachers at his high school is a former attorney, and another is a former critical-care RN, and both of those teachers completed their certification with their Master's in education and have done very well.

    On the topic of private schools, you should know that in most cases the pay is lower and the parents more demanding--this is why they accept non-certified teachers. In addition, in most states, experience in a private school classroom does NOT count as classroom hours toward a teaching certificate. Tom interviewed at several private schools prior to his first year of teaching, and was not impressed.

    Good luck.

    Jen
  12. by   colleen10
    RN2B2005,

    Good insights, I like reading your posts.

    So, I'm sure that your husband is not much of a supporter for "Teach America". My lab partner this past summer had a son and daughter that both went straight into Teach America after graduating college. I also saw a special on Teach America on MSN a few weeks ago. Talk about a tough job. Made me realize how difficult it must be for new teachers and how valued they really should be.
  13. by   montroyal
    Here is a copy of a newspaper article which ran last week. Without having a teaching certificate, your prospects are looking dim. To have a full time teaching job plus complete the required class work and testing in three years or less is a real challenge. Also, you can only teach the subject you majored in, while working on your teaching certificate.








    Hiring new teachers could become harder under federal education law


    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


    RALEIGH

    The state's plan to hire 100,000 new teachers over the next 10 years could be complicated by tougher regulations governing how long teachers without education degrees may take to get a teaching certificate.

    Under requirements set forth in the federal "Leave No Child Behind" law, "lateral entry" teachers - people who become teachers with a four-year college degree but no teacher's certificate - will have three years to complete the requirements for a teaching license.

    Currently, North Carolina's lateral-entry teachers have five years to take the classes needed for a license. Within two years, they are required to pass a subject-testing requirement called a Praxis II test.

    The state has promoted lateral entry, which allows people to move from the private sector directly to the classroom, as one of several alternative teacher-licensing programs.

    "It will be a significant change," Brock Murray of the N.C. Department of Public Instruction said of the federal requirements. "There may be more people who will not be able to teach."

    Traditional programs at the 47 North Carolina schools that offer education degrees haven't been able to keep pace with the state's demand for new teachers, graduating only about 3,200 new teachers each year.

    The state needs to hire about 10,000 new teachers a year to keep pace with increased enrollment, lower class sizes and normal attrition.

    Kathy Sullivan, also of the of public-instruction department, said that about a third of the state's annual new teacher hires come through lateral entry. Lateral-entry teachers generally teach in middle and high schools.

    In addition to compressing the time frame that lateral-entry teachers have to complete their licensing, the new federal rules will require them to have majored in a field connected to the subject they are teaching. For example, a math teacher will be expected to have majored in math.

    "The federal government is trying to make sure that for the most part, that regardless of any other training, the teachers have knowledge of the content," Murray said.

    Carolyn Anderson of the Lenoir County schools said that her system hires many lateral-entry teachers to work with children who have disabilities.

    Few education students specialize in that area, Anderson said.
  14. by   Dr. Kate
    As someone who taught briefly in a private high school the year before I went to nursing school, back in the days when kids were a bit better behaved than they are now, nursing was a whole lot easier. At least most sick people want what you have to offer. Most high school students don't want anything you have to offer and you have to make it appealing to them.

    Sorry to be negative on the subject. I really like teaching. However, I am a rotten policeperson. I was very young then and saw myself as ridiculous in the position, that had a lot to do with the difficulty I had as a teacher.

    I do agree if you want to teach go through certification classes. I know that would have helped me immeasurably.

    Good Luck.

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