Interested in School Nursing

  1. hello, all. i just wanted to say hi. i'm a pediatric rn with 2 years of hospital experience in pediatric medical/surgical/endocrine nursing. i was wondering what you would say are the qualifications needed for school nursing. also, what are your opinions on the pros and cons to being a school nurse? do any of you continue to "moonlight" per diem in hospitals? i'll appreciate any advice, antecdotes and opinions given. thanks!
  2. Visit CLC172 profile page

    About CLC172

    Joined: Jun '07; Posts: 139; Likes: 71
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in Pediatrics


  3. by   Flare
    Sorry - i started to answer this yesterday, but then got summer brain! Anyhow - it sounds like you have a good base fir school nursing. As far as specific qualifications, those vary state by state. Some take LPNs or health aides. others require simply an RN whil others require RN, BSN and Certification as a school nurse. Your board of nursing or even dept of ed (or even a local school nurse) can give you an idea of what your state requires.
    Pros and cons vary from person to person - on the pro side: no weekends, no holidays, large chunk of summer off, snow days if you live in a snowy area!, impacting a child's life before they land in a hospital bed and fostering a healthy life.
    Cons: ther pay is lower than hospitals, you don't always have the option to get paid in the summer, you're by yourself (which may be a pro for some!), you have lots of kids to contend with. You have twice the parents to contend with, administrators are verying degrees of supportive. Offices get busy (often with a lot of nonsense and class skip-itis). When there is an emergency, you are the only one - when there are 2 emergencies, you better hope you can triage well!, etc.
    As far as moonlighting in a hospital - it's entirely doable - I work as a per diem ADN, a colleague of mine works weekends on a cardiac floor, another friend works weekends doing neuro icu.
  4. by   NutmeggeRN
    Everything Flare said, but I have to tell you it is the best job I have ever had!!!

    and now that it is August, I am looking forward to seeing all "my kids" again. It can be extremely challenging due to the isolation, find a mentor either in your district or a neighbooring one, that will be critical. Get to know your local EMS, I live in a small town and we have a great relationship, and no "turf war"s. Get involved with your school community!
    I also work perdiem in a local ICF

    Good Luck!
  5. by   CLC172
    I'm so sorry it took me so long to reply to your entries. Thank you both for your comments and advice!

    I do love working in the hospital, but honestly, I don't see myself doing it forever, at least not full time. I've been interested in a few areas, and school nursing is one of them, mainly for the autonomy and schedule. And obviously, I love working with kids!

    I think I'm going to talk to my daughter's school nurse as well. She seems very nice (from the many times I've picked up my kiddo from her after one accident or another, lol). I've always been a little shy, but you guys have given me some confidence in checking it out.

    Do you ever do educational inservices for staff, or do you have the opportunity to do any sort of health teaching with students? I'm interested in the variety I might find with school nursing as well.

    Thank you again!!
  6. by   NutmeggeRN
    I do work with the staff/faculty on as as needed basis. I try to get into the Advanced wellness class to talk informaly wiht the kids (they are usually seniors). Whene there are certain public health issues, we do it in a faculty meeting. Other times it is with a specific kids teachers.
  7. by   bleemadden
    School nursing is great! It's a little more relaxed and the schedule is so nice! My district follows really strict guidlines for sending students home, so I catch a lot of flack from parents, and teachers can be a bit of a hastle too but I still absolutely love this job! It is my first year at this school and the nurse before me was quiet, but I figure you can never share too much information! I am always meeting with teachers and parents to educate them, and they all seem to be very appreciative of my way of doing things. Good luck to you and I hope you are able to experience school nursing! It is such a great and rewarding career!