I have 8 years Adult ICU experience and want to make the move to school nursing in the next few years. I am at a point in my life, that I can take a new job, but only want to work part-time. What would be the best experience to help me be a competent school nurse, as well as make me a competitive applicant?
I know that school nurse jobs in my district are few and far between, and I really want one! I spent a semester shadowing a school nurse while in my RN to BSN program, and I really enjoyed the kids and the work. It would be an ideal job for me, and one that I feel I would really love. I miss the days of being excited about going to work!
I have two kids under 2... and would love to start in the role once they are in school too. In the interim, I want a job that will get me out of the ICU and give me s solid foundation for school nursing. Having kids really changed my mind on what I want from a job. Guts and Glory are out, I want to enjoy my work and not bring it home.
Am I over complicating it? Could I be a competent school nurse with only Adult ICU experience?
Where should I look? A pediatric floor? An ER or Urgent Care? A clinic?
Is there volunteer experience out there that would help? Classes? Certs? (I have PALS) Good reference books to buy?
I am really scared about transitioning into a pediatric role with only adult experience.
Thank you all so much!
Feb 22, '13
We come from a wide variety of experience, but I think all would agree that you need super assessment and problem-solving skills, great communication ability, the ability to work independently and the willingness to take a pay cut! Check out School Nursing: A
Comprehensive Text or School Nurse Certification Review to get a good overview. In any case, good luck!
Last edit by schooldistrictnurse on Feb 22, '13
: Reason: Pressed submit too soon!
Feb 22, '13
i think you're over complicating it, but if you really want to toe into the water before taking the plunge, consider finding a place to serve as a sub before you start looking for a job with full time status. Its not like the jump you remember from med surg nursing into peds from nursing school
A nurse with adult icu experience should do just fine. Heck, there have been nurses that have come right out of nursing school and into school nursing. Not the easiest path, but they've survived.
Mar 11, '13
I agree with Flare. I worked in adult ICU as well, with a couple of stints in peds when working float pool. I worked as a substitute nurse on occasion when I wasn't working at the hospital and that was great as far as giving me some insight and experience into what is involved. Being a sub for the school system that you are interested in working for is a huge plus when a full time job comes open as well.
Mar 11, '13
Start subbing in the school district (or two or three) that you'd like to work. Get to know all the nurses, be flexible and available. It may take a few years (till someone retires) but if you have been a reliable sub nurse, you should have the advantage over everyone else. Your ICU skills are great, and you will get the pedi experience as a sub. You can also get a school nurse certification through taking classes at a local college in school nursing. They look great on a resume and show that you are committed to a future in school nursing. Get all your ducks in a row and make sure you have the basic entry requirements for the job. In MA, I had to take an exam (that all teachers and support personnel are required to pass), as well as attend numerous conferences in school nursing - just to have the entry level requirements for the job. And I did this all on my own time and dime. Within a month of completing all of this (plus an internship/practicum in a school with the school nurse for my MSN), I got the job. This was the best move I have ever made and I plan on working the next 25 years as a school nurse. I am more than 1/2 way through my first year and I am loving it! (And my family is very happy too - mom is home at 3pm, I don't miss a sporting event, I drive to all afternoon/evening activities, I cook a homemade meal every night, snow days at home with my kids, weekends with my family, holidays off and I'm looking forward to my first summer at home with my children). It will be the best decision you ever made!
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