Going to take that leap

  1. Hello all,

    I have been working in bedside nursing for over 5 years, and I am more than ready for a change. I dread going to work due to the typical excessive workload and lack of support. However, there are some decent days, and I work with some great team players at times. But, the culture is....those who have an easy assignment sit at the nurse's station while those with heavy assignments run around as an army of one.

    I always help a coworker when I have time, and I don't mind working hard, I'm positive even on the worst days, and go above and beyond for my patients. But, running around for 13 hours with one lunch break and no time to adequately hydrate?

    It's abusive to the body, I have always wanted to be a school nurse, there is the perfect position available close to my home, so I'm going to take the leap and apply. Or at least it is posted. There is no way to know if it has been filled already....

    I realize competition may be stiff, but I'm going to get my references ready and email my resume and cover letter tonight after I update it. I'm also going to start taking school nurse courses and look at AHEC offerings that are applicable..so I can make myself more competitive for any future postings if I don't get to the interview phase this time. (And I will do those things anyway once working).

    I am looking forward to more reasonable working hours, better hours for family life, and being invested in the kids' health at whichever school I eventually land, and advocating for them in dicey parent situations.

    I have worked ICU and med surg....thank you for "listening!". I thought about taking the PALS course..but is this necessary and/or going to make me competitive considering it's not an acute position?
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    A PALS course is not going to help you in school nursing, practically none of the tools used in a code are at your disposal at a school and likely you will be the only medical professional on staff. Renew your BLS if you are due - that is very helpful.

    Welcome to our forum - take a look around and explore!
    Last edit by JenTheSchoolRN on Nov 15
  4. by   NutmeggeRN
    Welocme I hope it works out for you! We are a diverse group of nurses who have a wealth of knowledge! Keep us posted on the job hunt!
  5. by   LovegelatoRN
    Thank you! I figured it wouldn't...I just really want to "break in"...so I will do all of the extras I can...except that as it's not helpful. .

    I realize there are frustrating moments in school nursing, as well....but having some degree of autonomy (I don't mind working alone) and seeing kids grow and have a sense of completion at the end of the school year sounds awesome. It's my understanding from posts here that many positions open up around March...so..now is the time to work on everything.
  6. by   LovegelatoRN
    Thank you, Nutmegge!! I will do that for sure!
  7. by   OldDude
    Good Luck! Keep us posted. I'm sure we'll collectively be sending you positive mojo.
  8. by   Farawyn
    I love gelato as well.
    Welcome.


    I found, in NY, they want experienced nurses. So, your PALS certainly won't hurt your chances, but it won't nab you any extra cash.
  9. by   ruby_jane
    You're going to bring a valuable skill set to wherever you're hired. You might consider getting the NASN's "School Nursing: A Comprehensive Text." Be aware that...it's comprehensive and long.

    If your local public health department offers hearing and vision screening training, jump on that - you'll come into a school ready to work. If not, no big deal. But all of us do hearing and vision screening and it was a plus for me that I had my certs.

    Good luck!!
  10. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    I can tell you in you are in MA - you can actually start to get certified as a school nurse through the Department of Education here before your job hunt and that helps a LOT! They have four keys classes you take. Not sure what state you are in and if it offers something similar, but worth looking into.
  11. by   LovegelatoRN
    Thank you all! That is tremendously helpful...I have looked into the school nurse cert, but you have to have school nurse experience to take the exam.

    I will look into the public health dept hearing and vision screening training.

    I am in the southeast and will take an enormous pay cut to do this as school nurses are paid very little here....but it's still worth it to me as I can supplement in the summer if necessary.
  12. by   ruby_jane
    I was a manager in a public health clinic before coming to school nursing in TX. I'm not making any less (actually, more now with our COLA increases). But I spread my 10 month paycheck over 12 months. This is in Texas...not sure where you are. You're right - you can always work in the summer (I don't always want to).
  13. by   OldDude
    Don't wear scrubs or cowboy boots to the interview...
  14. by   moreoreo
    Good luck!! I was blessed to get a school nurse job with just 2 years of hospital experience, no peds experience, and while I struggled through my first 1/2 year, and am making less money, I am overall so much happier. My reasons for leaving the bedside were similar to yours, and while I miss acute care, the "big" difference I could make in one day, my elderly patients in particular, and all the technical skills the hospital required, I do feel that bedside nursing is going to get worse before it gets better while school nursing is a growing role that really supports work-life balance in a way that other types of nursing cannot.

    I think you have a great attitude and that your experience will serve you well. I wish you luck on your job search!!

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