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!!