Advice for ICU nurse to get into school nursing.

  1. Hi
    I am an experienced critical care nurse with skills in all aspects of the ICU.
    My loving boyfriend is a school teacher and gets w/e, holidays, and summers off. How dreamy is that for someone that hasn't had christmas off since 1999! ..ME..
    It would be nice to have the same schedule so we can plan trips and spend quality time together without the burnout of the ICU wailing at your brain! And to do some different type of nursing. I do have peds experience.
    What would the right steps be to apply? What type of job is it? Lots of paper push, or being with the kids who are sick or think they are sick.
    I would love to be back on a day job and become "normal" again.
    anyway.. any hints, tips, suggestions, reason's not to, or reasons to go for it.. etc. etc. would be so much appreciated!
    thank you school nurses!
    Laura.
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   Foxfour
    I worked on the rehab floor (they called it rehab, but it was a glorifed nursing home) at a hospital. I hated every second of my job at the hospital. I can honestly say, I never regret going to work now. When I got into school nursing, I went into it so I won't have to worry about my child being at home alone while me and my husband were at work, but something unexpected happened. I really loved my job. I remember in nursing school an instructor told us that some school nurses stay at their jobs for many years. I remember thinking why? It has got to be so boring. I was so wrong. There is predictability in your job, but there is also unexpected situations as well, and your never bored. My opinion is valued at the school. We all know how valued our opinion is at the hospital. School nurses have a huge amount of autonomy-which I love. I leave the campus all the time for (we have a medical assist at our school) various reasons (buy holiday decorations, go pick up something from central office, meetings at other schools, etc.). When my daughter got sick at school, I was able to leave for the rest of the day to be with her. I get to eat lunch almost everyday. I never got one day of lunch at the hospital. I was doing good just to get to the bathroom. I also never get asked to come to work on my days off, but the best thing about my job is I get to spend time with my family again. The only downfall is the loss of my skills. I believe to each their own. I love what I do, but it's not for everybody.
  4. by   staciestitches
    I was an ICU nurse for 15 years and this year just started school nursing. It is nothing like what I have done and the first thing that they taught me at the school nurse conference was to not look at things like I used to. This is public health nursing and you are treating the well, not treating the sick. Yes, you do get sick children, but your role is to keep these children well. It is all about prevention. I do use more of my previous learned skills than I thought I would though. I do like it. I am still planning to do some per diem work at the hospital but for now I am learning the policies and procedures here at the school. I strongly suggest going to a school nurse orientation conference this summer if you do get a school nurse job. You could also substitute for awhile so you get the feel for it. I went into it because my family really needed a change. I was working every weekend and did not have much family time. It has worked out well. I love the autonomy. I am learning how to stick up for myself and not feel intimidated. The pay is very low. I would not be able to do this if my DH was not in a good job. But most of us are not in it for the pay. :chuckle

    Good luck in your decision.
  5. by   sockov
    Thank you all for the input. Hope more floods through.
  6. by   sockov
    Quote from staciestitches
    I was an ICU nurse for 15 years and this year just started school nursing. It is nothing like what I have done and the first thing that they taught me at the school nurse conference was to not look at things like I used to. This is public health nursing and you are treating the well, not treating the sick. Yes, you do get sick children, but your role is to keep these children well. It is all about prevention. I do use more of my previous learned skills than I thought I would though. I do like it. I am still planning to do some per diem work at the hospital but for now I am learning the policies and procedures here at the school. I strongly suggest going to a school nurse orientation conference this summer if you do get a school nurse job. You could also substitute for awhile so you get the feel for it. I went into it because my family really needed a change. I was working every weekend and did not have much family time. It has worked out well. I love the autonomy. I am learning how to stick up for myself and not feel intimidated. The pay is very low. I would not be able to do this if my DH was not in a good job. But most of us are not in it for the pay. :chuckle

    Good luck in your decision.
    Where are these school nurse orientation conference?
    what is it all about?
    THANKS
  7. by   staciestitches
    www.nysasn.org

    Go to this site and look on the left. Go under conferences. The orientation is listed there. The final details are not on there yet but contact info is listed. I went this past summer and learned so much. The women are so helpful and really make you feel comfortable. It is held at the Welch-Allyn Lodge. It is so pretty there. The lodge is in Skaneateles (sp?).
  8. by   DDRN4me
    I am a school nurse in a school for special needs kids. i have done all kinds of nursing, but this is by far the best. I have contact with kids, parents teachers and staff, and no two days are the same. I do alot of teaching, and also preventative care. the "sick " kids are often those that just need some xtra TLC, but there are also the true emergencies that test your skills. you have autonomy, but usually a supervisor or another nurse is just a phone call away. pm me if you have more questions!Mary
  9. by   NE_Chris
    I used to be a school nurse, but unfortunately got laid off just before my oldest son started college (my DH is a full-time, unemployed college student as well). I am at a point where I am able to afford to return to school nursing, send my son and husband for their last year of college and pay the bills. I'll need to do every other week-end and vacation per diem in pediatric homecare- but this is my choice. I have been doing long-term nursing now for nearly two years, and each day is a demoralizing effort. School nursing is something I accidentally fell into and loved, I felt energized at the end of the day- not drained like I do now. I substituted when I was earning my bachelor degree, because that is a requirement in my state for certification. I actually had an interview last Friday for a school nurse position in a special needs collaborative- hopefully I will get an answer tomorrow. I am getting my 2-week notice letter for my present job ready just in case. I did not experience in school nursing any of the back stabbing nursing politics that are in other nursing venus. There was a camaraderie with the other school nurses when we met at our monthy meetings and during professional days. I found nurses in the school nursing profession to basically be a nicer group of people then nurses in some other specialties. FWIW ..... Hope this helps, once someone goes to school nursing they rarely go back to where they were before.

    Chris :roll :roll :roll :roll :roll :roll :roll :roll :roll :roll
  10. by   NE_Chris
    Quote from mgallant
    I am a school nurse in a school for special needs kids. i have done all kinds of nursing, but this is by far the best. I have contact with kids, parents teachers and staff, and no two days are the same. I do alot of teaching, and also preventative care. the "sick " kids are often those that just need some xtra TLC, but there are also the true emergencies that test your skills. you have autonomy, but usually a supervisor or another nurse is just a phone call away. pm me if you have more questions!Mary
    Do you work in a public or private school setting? Is it a collaborative? I'm curious because I went for an interview last Friday at a special needs collaborative.
    Chris :roll :roll :roll :roll
  11. by   DDRN4me
    Quote from NE_Chris
    [font=Courier New]Do you work in a public or private school setting? Is it a collaborative? I'm curious because I went for an interview last Friday at a special needs collaborative.
    Chris :roll :roll :roll :roll

    I work in a Collaborative setting. pm me and let me know what Collaborative. Are you in Mass?:spin:
  12. by   crich
    Hi
    I have had been in ob nursing for a long time with some med/surg prn experience. I had a school nursing position drop in my lap. I had never thought about working in school nursing. I decided it was a gift from above and took the job. This is my 5th year in school nursing. The first year or so was a learning experience, but have been able to make an impact on the knowledge and health of the children in school. I love the well-child care. Yes there is a fair amount of paperwork, but you have this in most professional positions. Some of my favorite things have been providing puberty classes for 5th graders, setting up sex ed classes for middle schoolers, and taking care of the juvenile diabetics. I don't know where you are, but in TN school health laws are different from the usual nursing laws. Be sure to get a copy of your state's School Health Laws. It can be pretty frustrating. I encourage you to attend your state assoc. of school nurses meetings. They will help you in your new field of nursing and also keep you abreast of legislation that may be pending about your nursing practice that may not be safe or practical.
  13. by   foxyhill21
    I never really thought about school nurses, it seems really fun. I love children and everyone in my family was suprise when I decided to be a nurse, b/e they think I would be a wonderful teacher. I was wondering if u have to have a BSN for school nursing?Do they accept NP? Do u make about the same salary as a nurse in the hospital? It seem like a great job. Working with children, setting up educational sessions, reporting child abuse and making an impact on a childs life.
  14. by   Keepstanding
    Quote from foxyhill21
    I never really thought about school nurses, it seems really fun. I love children and everyone in my family was suprise when I decided to be a nurse, b/e they think I would be a wonderful teacher. I was wondering if u have to have a BSN for school nursing?Do they accept NP? Do u make about the same salary as a nurse in the hospital? It seem like a great job. Working with children, setting up educational sessions, reporting child abuse and making an impact on a childs life.
    Hi Foxyhill21 !
    I have been a school nurse for 14 years and I love it. You will not regret being a school nurse ! I earn $ 30 K per year which is actually 192 days per year. The pay is not bad for the area of the north east I am in. It's true that there is a lot of paper work in school nursing,and you do deal with a lot of people, but it's that way wherever you are a nurse. The kids are my biggest reward though. Each day is a new adventure and sometimes my daily agenda goes out the window....so remember to be FLEXIBLE !!
    You will love it I'm sure ! Oh and by the way, I am an LPN ! Yes, my school system does hire LPN's too. It's great ! Good Luck to you and God Bless !

    LPN 90

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