I am pondering becoming a school nurse. I think I would like it and it would be a good match for my personality. But I have heard about many nurses doing school nursing and finding it too monotonous and going back to a hospital job. I have subbed (for only one day), and enjoyed it, even though it was extremely busy, almost too much so. I don't think a sub really gets the same picture as the full time school nurse. It is more challenging as a sub when you don't know the school, the kids, or the routines.
In your experience, do most school nurses who came from hospitals enjoy being a school nurse and want to stay? What percentage of new school nurses stay for a year and then leave to do something else?
I just am so tired of weekends, getting home so late during the week, and working holidays. Overall I have watched my family suffer and noticed that I am not as happy anymore. Life is short and I want to be able to visit my out of town family more often and be there for my kids.
I had several school nurse interviews and I am so anxious to see if I got a job. At the same time I worry a little that if I don't like it, I may be shutting the door to where I work (the best hospital in town by far) and may not be able to come back later. I guess it is always hard to make a change, and sometimes we just have to take a chance.
Would you pick school nursing again if you had a choice?
May 19, '10
I subbed for a year before I became a school nurse and I think you get a very good picture of what life as a school nurse is like. (try it more than one day though.....you may have subbed on a busy day) That being said I am leaving this year because I am bored. When I subbed I knew in the back of my mind I would not like school nursing. I pushed that aside and went ahead and became a school nurse because of the hours. I am very glad I did. I would have always wondered what it was like if I hadn't. I gave it 3 years and it is not for me....and I know that now so I have peace about it.....but you may find it is for you so you should definitely give it a shot. And the hours are really great for your family!!! Good luck you can always get back into the hospital if you find you don't like it--i got offered a job at the best hospital in the area in spite of being a school nurse for 3 years.
May 19, '10
I say you never know until you try. Could you stay PRN at your current job and give school nursing a try? Give it a year and if you are not happy you still have a foot in the door at the hospital.
And yes, I enjoy school nursing very much. There are times that I miss the action, the intense hands-on patient care, and the skills of the hospital (sometimes I daydream about starting IVs and hanging IVFs, LOL). I have to admit I have strongly contemplated going back, but the relationships I've built and the great kids and families I serve keep me here, at least until I get far enough in my graduate education that I can't work M-F anymore. My DH also loves my schedule, and his input was the swing vote to keep me here
May 19, '10
I don't miss the action AT ALL. I've been a nurse for 34 years and I actually like the predictability of my day. Plus, no weekends or holidays, I get off at 2:30.
Most days are very routine. Once in a while somebody will stroll in who is really sick, wheezing, or hurt. Then I use all my spidey senses(nursing intuition) to figure out what to do. Most of the time I can do this job with one arm tied behind my back. Just fine with me.
I have found that a lot of nurses miss the excitement of the hospital. School nursing is a whole other kind of nursing, but make no mistake--it's still nursing. Anything that can happen at home, can and will happen in school eventually. You have to be on top of your game because in an emergency all you have is bandaids and a thermometer. I'm part mother, part counselor, part cheerleader, part investigator and ALL NURSE
May 20, '10
been doing school nursing for 18 years now and each and every day is a new adventure ! i do love it though. at first i did miss the excitement of working the floor at the hospital. but over the years, i find this is actually what i am meant to be doing. isolation is a big negative for this job. you are out there all alone and have no one to "bounce" things off of. i have realized that we are in the "education" field and not the "healthcare" field. this took me way too many years to realize ! but you are the only medical person in the place and everyone looks to you for the answers ! you need to stay on top of things, because as another poster pointed out...anything can happen in the school setting. and believe me......it usually all happens at the same time !!
it took me about one full school year to feel comfortable in this position. so many things that need to be done during the course of the year. physicals, immunizations, records, screenings, documenting is key also !
but all in all, i truly love the job. i think i do make a difference in the kids lives. i would not want to do anything else at this point in my life.
the hours are great.......your summer's off is awesome ! and to be totally honest, i am sooooo ready to get back to work at the end of the summer. a new school year is like a fresh start. everything is new again and exciting !
give it a try, i'll bet that you will love school nursing too !
May 20, '10
Thank you all for sharing. I am starting to worry since I have not got a call after my interviews. I thought they went well, but I am sure my competition was good too. The longer I wait the more I see how much I really want to do this. It seems like it is not easy to break into school nursing. My interviews were tough- moreso than any other interviews I've had. I really hope I am able to find a new home as a school nurse. Saying my prayers tonight for sure!
May 21, '10
I have to say, when I walked away from med-surg, I never looked back. School nursing is different from hospital nursing in so many ways, I feel like I switched careers. So much more of a relational component than in the hospital because you follow these kids and their families for years. It was difficult realizing that I was a nurse in an educational setting and find my place and respect there, but the teachers in my building are for the most part great and respect me.
You will see postings of mine on here where I whine and complain, because this is a great place to do that.
For the most part, though, it is the best job I have ever had. I must say with 1,000 students I do have down time but not enough to get bored. Then again, I have never been an adrenaline junkie.
May 21, '10
I LOVE being a school nurse. I once read a RN job-satisfaction study that said that school nurses were the happiest/ most satisfied of all the nursing specialties. That same study pointed out that we were also the least paid!
Nov 17, '10
So what do you do when a child comes in with wheezing or something that you believe requires further care? Call the parents and tell them to take them to the doctor or call the ambulance? Are you able to give the child any treatments? Just wondering what type of plan you have to take?
Nov 17, '10
Depends on the kid. Anything we give, we have to have a doctor's order. Some have inhalers, some have nebulizers. As far as weather to call the parent or transport by EMS, that's why we are there. We are skilled to make that decision. Most kids are fine to go home with parent and be seen by primary MD, but if something comes on suddenly or there is a more serious injury, we call EMS, then the parent.
Nov 18, '10
I enjoy it for the most part. Sure there are things that I could do without (lice, difficult parents and staff, isolation, whiny kids,etc) but the positive far outweighs the negative(helping kids, the awesome schedule, not nearly as many critical situations, snow days, etc) . It helps if you have a good supportive school as well. It's not a perfect job because those don't exist but I never feel like I'm in over my head like I used to at the hospital. It does take some getting used to because it's such a different type of nursing and I did miss the excitement of the hospital floor I was on but my health and family life are so much better now. It is what you make it.
Nov 21, '10
School nursing is the only specialty that I can think of that you can be doing CPR one minute and combing gum out of hair the next. You hear me complain (ok a lot lately) but only here among my colleagues so that I can release the stress and move on to the business of supporting children during the most important time of their lives......their education!
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