I used to work as a full-time school nurse then took several years off to raise kids then went back to subbing as a school nurse. I'm now working in a hospital and I like the actual work better. The only things I don't like are working holidays, being on my feet for 12 hrs, and not seeing my kids more than an hour or so the days I work. However, I only work 2 days a week so I get a lot of time off which I love. My biggest problem is the first day after I work I'm totally exhausted and achey all over and I'm having back/foot issues from being on my feet so much. (By the second day off I'm pretty good to go.)I have another 25 yrs to work. I am still subbing as a school nurse occasionally just to keep my foot in the door but I'm getting tired of working two jobs. My school nurse supervisor wants me to go full-time as soon as a job opening becomes available. I'm really wavering because I like only working 2 days a week (even if they are long days), I like using more nursing skills, I get more respect as a nurse in the hospital compared to the school where all the teachers constantly second-guessed my decision to not send a student home, and I make better money by several dollars more an hour. The pitfalls are I'm not sure if I can physically keep up the pace, the 14 hr days, and all the stressors the hospital brings from management, holidays, short-staffing, etc. So, I just wanted to know if others had left school nursing and if they were happy in the long-run with their decision.
Jan 17, '13
I'm seriously looking to break into new avenues of Nursing after having spent most of my experience in the ER, where things can get really dicey really fast. School nursing is an option for me, so I was wondering what the pay differential is?
On hospital wages, assuming you are not the only wage earner in your household, working two 12s a week should be enough to have the bennies of extra cash all the while not feeling like you're killing yourself from being on your feet all the time.
Jan 17, '13
School nursing pay depends on the state your in. In my case I was on the teacher's pay scale and the amount of nursing experience you have would not matter as far as pay is concerned. You would start at the beginning of the pay scale for the teachers which is around $33,000 here (around $15/hr) and I make $25/hr at the hospital. (Our cost of living is very reasonable here.) I would make around $17/hr since I have some experience in the school system. It's not a lot compared to full-time at the hospital. However, when you consider school nurses only work 200 days a year I would actually make around $23/hr for the actual days worked which is comparible to part-time at the hospital. You are salary so you won't get paid extra for the after school staff meetings, open houses, etc that you are required to attend. I would suggest finding your board of education website and finding the salary posting if they have one and if not you can get it at the board of ed office and then I would also suggest substituting to get a better idea of what it's like to see if you like it. When I had gotten my first school nurse job I had never subbed so I really had no clue. Had I subbed first I probably wouldn't have taken the job but after I was hired I wanted to give it a year to see if I liked it and to not leave them hanging. It was a lot less stress and the hours worked well for my family but I really hated the 5 day work week and found it much more boring and school nurses don't get a lot of respect. I did really enjoy working with the kids, the autonomy, the less stress, the holidays/summers off so the positives outweighed the negatives for a while. If I had stayed at the school system all these years I would just now be making what I'm starting out at the hospital at which is another reason I'm having trouble commiting to it because I can make almost as much part-time at the hospital as full-time doing school nursing. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
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