Nurse ABC 6,563 Views
Joined Jan 4, '12.
Posts: 439 (41% Liked)
I have been a school nurse for 12 years. I've been a nurse since '92 so I've come and gone from school nursing over the years. I've worked full-time, part-time, and subbed as a school nurse. If all my experiences (or any) were like tallgirl's I may not have ever left. I want to work where she does!! If you look through this board you'll find lots of answers to your questions!
Overall it's a good job, less stress, nice to be in charge of your own office, nice to have all the weekends/holidays/summers/snow days etc off. If you have kids it really is ideal! I do enjoy working with kids and making them feel better.
No job is perfect however. You will take a pay cut most likely. It may be huge. Only you can decide if it's something you can live with or make work somehow.
School nursing has it's own stressors but nothing like the hospital. If you thrive on making life and death decisions this job is not for you. It can be quite boring and monotonous at times. Lots of paperwork, charting, checking immunizations, and entering stuff on the computer. That stuff doesn't bother me too much.
I feel more like a social worker sometimes. There are more poor children whose parents don't provide what they need than you can imagine so you will have to encourage parents to take their kid to the dr, get immunizations that are required and then threaten social services or exclusion to get them to do it sometimes. This is very frustrating.
You will have many teachers that try to tell you how to do your job. Many will not respect your opinion. Many think you should just do as they say. You have to learn to stand your ground. You are the only medical person and sometimes they just don't get why you freak out over stuff like low blood sugars or a dizzy child that just got hit in the head but they freak out over vomit and lice and don't understand why you don't. There's A LOT of lice. It truly never ends.
A typical day involves seeing kids for illness/injury (many just want out of class or to go home so they fake it), passing meds, blood glucose monitoring, etc. We are also responsible for making sure kids have the correct immunizations, Medicaid billing, care plans, teaching staff, educating students on issues like dental health/hygeine/puberty etc, screenings, staff wellness programs, getting dr orders needed, and other things.
I always suggest subbing to get a taste of it before jumping in full-time. I think it's worth a try because you may love it!!
We all make mistakes and you will make more! I bet you'll never make that particular mistake again!! Your patient is fine so try not to beat yourself up. You're a good concientious nurse or you wouldn't be so upset. Time and experience will help you catch things but you will never be perfect so be glad when your mistakes don't cause permanent harm!
I am a school nurse who went back to the hospital two different times after working as a school nurse (i had been out of the hospital for over 10 yrs the first time). However, no it is not considered the acute experience hospitals want. I was basically treated like a new grad both times.
I would be very hesitant working independently as a school nurse without any experience though. I had 1 1/2 yrs hospital experience before working as a school nurse and there were times I felt like I still didn't have enough. You are the sole medical person in the school so you have to have excellent assessment skills and be able to handle emergencies on your own with little to no orientation. You will get things like broken bones, concussions, tube feedings, nebulizer treatments, asthma attacks, insulin pumps, catherizations, child abuse, and many other things you are expected to know how to handle from the first day. However, this is not considered acute care because in the hospital you need to know how to do IV's, interpret labs, collaborate with dr's, hang blood, and a zillion other things that you don't do in a school.
If I were you I'd try to find a hospital job to get your experience. If jobs are scarce then a school nurse job will at least give you nursing experience of some type which is better than unemployment. Even without experience the school nurse job would be doable. You should call the nursing programs to see if they would accept school nursing as the type of experience they want. I kind of doubt it since as a NP you're going to need more of the hospital type knowledge but I can't say for sure-it may depend on the area of NP you want to do. If its community health it may work in your favor. Good luck!
Continue to pursue nursing. Have you considered being a scrub tech or a transporter in the OR while you go to nursing school? You can be a nurse circulator in the OR as well once you graduate nursing school. That could help you discover how much you like the OR. If you want to be a CRNA just know you need a couple years ICU experience before you can apply. My first clinical in nursing school I had to give an old grumpy man a bed bath who complained I was too rough, the water was too cold, etc and I hated every minute of it. I thought what have I gotten myself into! It did get easier as I became more comfortable with it.RN's do have to do CNA work occasionally if not regularly. We also have to give meds, shots, start IV's, insert foleys and NG tubes, change dressings, consult with drs, keep on top of patient's conditions and use critical thinking to know what to do when, etc. That's a really brief overview. If you work in the ER you won't be wiping as many rears but you may deal with more vomit or blood. Each area is different. If you hate CNR work because you feel you aren't being challenged enough and don't find it all that fulfilling but could do it if you had to as long as you had other responsibilities you will be fine. It does get easier with more experience! I would never enjoy working in a nursing home-not my thing. Maybe you should just skip being a CNA on your road to being a nurse but I don't think you should give up nursing based on one day in CNR school!
I think one of the biggest problems with nursing is that we are under-appreciated and taken advantage of from being short-staffed and over-worked. We are also expected to cater to our pt's and their families as if they are in a 5 star resort to increase pt satifaction surveys. The reality is I do occasionally feel like I've made a difference or helped someone feel better but it's not every day. I do hate working holidays while my extended family is celebrating without me. I don't enjoy not seeing my kids for more than an hour or two the days I work. My feet and back ache the days I work. The first day off after working 12's I am so exhausted and sore I can hardly move so I don't get much caught up that day. However, it's nice to have a couple days off in the middle of the week and it's nice to just lay around one day knowing I've put enough time in to working to deserve it. It's nice to go shopping when everyone else is at work. It's nice to know that while I'm home the work is still getting done unlike office jobs where the work just waits for you. It's nice to feel challenged and get to learn every day. Everyone I work with loves their jobs-we just hate the BS we have to put up with sometimes. There is so much variety available if you get tired of one area or don't like it you can move to a different one. If you have your heart set on it then I'd say go for it. I do think the shadowing a nurse is excellent advice as well as becoming a CNA and working your way towards nursing to really know if it's for you. With your management background you might make a great nurse manager if you find bedside nursing too hard! There are many avenues...
Talk, Discuss, and Share your experience at your favorite Nursing School.
Advertise With Us