Do You Like Being A School Nurse? Do You Like Being A School Nurse? - pg.2 | allnurses

Do You Like Being A School Nurse? - page 2

I have been an RN since 1993 in the ICU. I am thinking about changing career paths and going into school nursing. Overall, do you like your job? What is your average day like? What are the things... Read More

  1. Visit  ohiobobcat profile page
    3
    I have been a school nurse for 5 months now, after being a med-surg nurse for 1.5 years, then an ER nurse for 6.5 years. I took a pay cut coming to this position, but I looooove my schedule. I am in the same school district as my kids. Starting in October of this year, my middle child started with some major mental health issues including hospitalization, trialing meds to find the right combo that works for her, etc. I work in the same building as her and I feel like it was divine intervention that led me to taking this job. I could not have worked 3-12s a week and been there for her like I have had to be for the past 4-5 months.

    Personal stuff aside, I love my "kids". I work with high school students and sometimes cover the junior high as well, for a total 600-700 kids. I have 12 diabetics in the high school, 5 kids with daily meds and I see anywhere from 20-40 kids a day for various other stuff- anywhere from "Can I have a tampon?" to a symptomatic resting heart rate of 140 with no significant history. My triage experience from the ER has been HUGELY helpful in this new position. The kids are respectful to me, probably because I am respectful to them to begin with. They make me laugh every day. Administration is supportive of me and my nursing/medical knowledge. The teachers for the most part have been great. I haven't had a "bad" day at work yet, but I am pretty upbeat person, and that never really happened in my old job either. Call me weird, but I actually enjoy the paperwork and filing part of this job. I like having my own office, but I miss interacting my old coworkers every day too. There are 3 other nurses in my district and we try to meet monthly to bounce ideas off each other and review policies, etc.

    Hope that gives kind of a picture of what my day is like. Good luck in your decision.
    Last edit by ohiobobcat on Feb 27, '14 : Reason: Improper apostrophe use...grrr
    Erindel RN, T.H.R.N., and tallgirl1 like this.
  2. Visit  abc123RN profile page
    3
    Quote from fetch
    My district coordinator likes to say "the worst day as a school nurse is better than the best day as a floor nurse." May not be 100% true . . . but I sure do enjoy it!
    I so agree!!! I love love love my job, the kids, the staff here and it is so worth the pay cut to be a school nurse.
    One of my favorite things about being the school nurse is how much better I feel after a day here as opposed to a shift bedside nursing. Very little back pain if any most days!
    T.H.R.N., tallgirl1, and fetch like this.
  3. Visit  Tina, RN profile page
    2
    LOVE it! Yes, I gripe and vent about it sometimes. But, ultimately, it's awesome. I was a SAHM for years, until my youngest started full day school. Then I was very lucky to fall into this job.

    My main gripe is the stinky pay. But, it's a decent trade-off.
    T.H.R.N. and tallgirl1 like this.
  4. Visit  NutmeggeRN profile page
    4
    This is year 20 for moi!!! IT is the hardest job I have had some days but ultimatly the best!!!! When people ask me how I can work with HS kids everyday, I tell them that at least one kid makes me laugh every single day, and it is true!!
    bsyrn, T.H.R.N., fetch, and 1 other like this.
  5. Visit  Ilovegiraffes profile page
    2
    I've worked in LTC, Urgent care, Dr offices, home health ....BUT my 15 yrs in school nursing have been my favorite by far! I'm just looking forward to retirement and some quality time with my grandkids!! Some days are frustrating, as in any job. I have enjoyed getting to know the kids & their families, and the continuity of seeing the kids/siblings for 5-6 yrs in succession!
    T.H.R.N. and tallgirl1 like this.
  6. Visit  Cherry Ames Peds RN profile page
    1
    There are days that I love it and days that it is just too slow and I wish I worked somewhere else. I work at three elementary schools and have been a school nurse for about 5 years. I have over 25 years of pediatric experience in various settings. One of the best parts of the job has been that it has allowed me the time to get my Masters degree. Overall, the job is enjoyable and less stressful than other settings I have worked. Unfortunately, the pay is also less, although I am on the teacher's payscale so I get paid more for having a Masters.
    T.H.R.N. likes this.
  7. Visit  mbkrn profile page
    7
    After close to 30 years in a hospital setting (floor nursing, human resources, lastly out-patient clinic) I became a school nurse. I was used to not working weekends/nights/holidays and already vested so I was able to take a hit financially.

    I was fortunate to be assigned to an amazing school with a supportive principal. Average day? There is none. Somedays will drag on and on and others will run you ragged (stomach bug, lice, low blood sugars, screenings, playground accidents, etc. never mind parents, teachers, etc.) The biggest adjustment for me was the "tag you're it factor". No call light to hit when you have a situation, no one "down the hall" to run something by. The flip side to that is the "tag you're it" factor. You have your own space to set up your way, you are in charge of the flow of your office and you learn real fast ( if haven't already) to be an independent practitioner. I work with a great group of nurses and we are indeed a phone call away if we need to bounce something off of each other or network a solution.

    My advice to anyone who becomes a school nurse? Learn the culture of your building/know your audience. Once you get a handle on your parents and staff, you will find them receptive to pretty much anything. Best perk so far? The year I became a school nurse (I did it for child care purposes) was the worst winter we had had in a long time and just to hear the radio say there was no school the first time was "priceless"!
  8. Visit  tictac profile page
    3
    This is my 4th year as a school nurse and I think it will be my last. I'm not sure if it's because of the environment I work in, the work itself, or a little of both. Our assistant principal is a micro-managing, administrative bully, and makes me (and everyone else) miserable. Our principal doesn't care about anything and never has your back when it comes to parent issues. I'm also tired of the silly things I deal with on a daily basis. I know teachers send them down to me because they have to cover their butts, but it's gotten so tiresome. It's as if kids aren't expected to experience discomfort of any sort and have no coping skills for things such as a common cold, old insect bite, or sore muscle. There is most definitely a need for school nurses, but I think the position is misunderstood and abused. I don't think switching schools will do me any good because I swear there is an overwhelming lack of common sense in a school setting. I just don't get it. I hate to admit it, but I'm just out of patience with this job and can't do it anymore. I hate to give up the schedule though. It can't be beat. I really wanted to stick it out until my kids are done with school, but I just can't.
    Tina, RN, Massmagic, and Ilovegiraffes like this.
  9. Visit  AdobeRN profile page
    0
    Working as a school nurse just fits with my life right now. I think I make decent money considering the amount of time off, I love the schedule - no fighting for my weekends, holidays or summer vacation days. I am able to be home when my kids get home from school & I am available for them with busy after school schedules. If I stick with this job - which at this point I plan on it, when I retire I will have decent retirement funds. I feel extremily fortunate to work with great staff at my school - they tend to leave me alone and let me do my job, however if I need back up I know I can count on them.

    Downside to the job - dealing with a few wacko parents with crazy expectations. I feel like I have alot of downtime. The job gets monotonous - seeing the same kids over & over again for bandaids, ice packs, stomach aches, headaches etc can get to you.
  10. Visit  bell1962 profile page
    0
    I like it for the most part. But I work in a school for kids with special needs. We have kids with autism, kids with severe emotional needs and behavioral problems. Our building has students from kindergarten through high school. It can make for some interesting days! The pay is terrible but the schedule and retirement plan are great!
  11. Visit  amnesiac1c profile page
    0
    I work in a prek-6th Title I elementary & I absolutely love working with all my babies. I have a very high volume clinic with lots of psychosocial needs so my days are generally very busy & often stress filled. I often wonder how long I can realistically maintain the pace. I am luck to have amazing administrators who I love - I've heard from other nurses who don't have that & I would never keep a job like that. I've been able to develop good relationships with most of the parents but there are a few that just sour my attitude lots of days. I took a huge pay cut to take this job but I love the hours & summers off with my own kids. In the end, it's good for now. I'm just not sure I can hang for the long haul some days!
  12. Visit  Tina, RN profile page
    0
    Quote from tictac
    This is my 4th year as a school nurse and I think it will be my last. I'm not sure if it's because of the environment I work in, the work itself, or a little of both. Our assistant principal is a micro-managing, administrative bully, and makes me (and everyone else) miserable. Our principal doesn't care about anything and never has your back when it comes to parent issues. I'm also tired of the silly things I deal with on a daily basis. I know teachers send them down to me because they have to cover their butts, but it's gotten so tiresome. It's as if kids aren't expected to experience discomfort of any sort and have no coping skills for things such as a common cold, old insect bite, or sore muscle. There is most definitely a need for school nurses, but I think the position is misunderstood and abused. I don't think switching schools will do me any good because I swear there is an overwhelming lack of common sense in a school setting. I just don't get it. I hate to admit it, but I'm just out of patience with this job and can't do it anymore. I hate to give up the schedule though. It can't be beat. I really wanted to stick it out until my kids are done with school, but I just can't.
    I can absolutely relate to everything you mentioned. Sometimes, it is very hard to keep reminding myself of how lucky I was to land this job. LOL

    Best of luck to you!
  13. Visit  jk82 profile page
    0
    What about missing events at your kids school like class parties and field trips because you have to be at your school all day? How does this work out? Does it bother you? I have an opportunity to work at a school but could not send my kids to the school with me...there are no benefits to the job such as sick or vacation time.....

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