School nurse here for 1.5 years and I love it. Best job I ever had. Former med surg/telemetry RN for 5 years. I enjoy being my own boss, I run the health office, I like the minimal interaction with adults. I mostly talk and see only elementary children all day. My principal is great and so is the office staff. I make a lot of calls and talk to parents, but usually they are quick calls to come pick up your child, etc. Most people (parents and teachers) trust my judgment and don't argue with my decision. My stress level is very low - so different from the hospital which was literally life and death on a daily basis.
I work from 8:15 to 3pm. What's not to like about that? - I am home as soon as my children are. I miss nothing.
Every weekend off, no holidays, no summers. 3 personal days and 10 sick days a year if needed. No mandatory overtime. No patient emergencies at the end of your shift in which you have to stay late to give report/chart/etc.
I look forward to the new school year and then, in June, for that school year to end. There is a sense of accomplishment and completion with each school year. There is a beginning and an end. And then your 8 week reward of summer.
I am never bored. Probably because I work in a busy elementary. I see about 40 kids a day. 5 daily meds. No diabetics. I laugh when I think about my former med passes in the hospital - the grind/stress of pulling 15 meds per patient (3 times a day each patient!) crushing meds, cutting meds, applesauce, waiting for your elderly patient to swallow, insulin, tube feeds, IV fluids, blood trans., 5 patient load, discharges, admissions, rapid responses, codes...My current med pass is a total of 5 meds a day - the kids are so sweet they swallow them in 2 seconds and are then off to lunch.
I have plenty of time to get things done in between seeing students. I put my radio on, enter my immunizations in the computer, do paperwork, organize stuff, do screenings, etc.
I make $47k a year for 35 hours a week. But only 40 weeks a year. I will eventually max out around $80k a year - not too bad!
I have GREAT health and dental benefits.
I will retire with a pension of 80% of my 3 highest years of work. So, around $65k a year every year after I retire. I will retire at 62.
There are PLENTY of opportunities to make more money as a school nurse - you can do camp nursing during the summer, you can do afterschool programs, you can do per diem pediatric home care in the evenings. per diem weekend work, etc. I have my masters now and could be a nursing instructor.
Leaving bedside hospital nursing was a great decision for me and my family. It was a good job to get my "critical care experience". However, it is not worth the $, stress, my health, missing my children, the liability, etc.
Good luck w/your decision.