Is it feasible/realistic to be able to work as a school nurse well into my 60's?

  1. Here's some background information so that you guys can better understand my dilemma:

    I'm 20 and will be applying to an adn nursing program next yer. After I graduate from the 2yr program , I'm not sure if I want to go straight into school nursing right then cause I do like the idea of working in the ER, but am considering it. If I do go into school nursing right then I don't think I'll ever change specialty as I really like that it has a predictable stable schedule and the fact that I'd have summers off, which I would like to use for traveling. I really love to travel! I know i'd have a significant pay cut because it's school nursing but that's ok with me. What I care about is having time to enjoy myself with my hobbies and life. There's so many things I wanna do! If only school was scheduled 4 days a week instead of 5 lol!

    **Anyway, my question is this: If I did go into school nursing straight after nursing school is it feasible/realistic to be able to work as a school nurse from now till I'm in my 60's or even 70's if I wanted to? Any school nurses out there who have been able to do this? What are your thoughts experiences? Thanks so much!!
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    About bella201

    Joined: Nov '12; Posts: 46; Likes: 3
    from US


  3. by   skoolrn
    Right out or school you will not have the experience to work the ER or as a school nurse. These jobs also have minimum educational requirements in most cases... usually a BSN. In my state, a nurse must have significant peds experience and a BSN to get hired, then they need a national certification. Many school nurses who don't work the summer either have a spouse to cover the bills, or they work a summer job. I don't think it is feasible to work as a school nurse into your 60's or 70's.
  4. by   Wave Watcher
    Where I work as a school nurse we are considered 12 month employees. We get paid all year long (even summers). Therefore, you do not have to worry about a 2nd income to cover bills. Also, you do not have to have a BSN, although they want you to have nursing experience under your belt. Good luck!
  5. by   Wave Watcher
    Oh, also the nurse I replaced retired out in her 60's. There are many of us (I'm 41yrs old), school nurses who continue doing what we love into retirement age.
  6. by   itsmejuli
    Oh please don't think that far're only 20!

    Anyway...I work in homecare and one of our part-time RNs is 72.
  7. by   KelRN215
    The odds of getting a school nurse job right out of school are quite small. The qualifications for a public school nurse in my state are a BSN and like 3-5 years of pediatric experience. You also need a separate license through the DOE (qualifications to obtain initial licensure are BSN and several years of pedi/community health experience and then to obtain permanent licensure are national certification and perhaps a Masters' Degree).
  8. by   schooldistrictnurse
    My state also requires a BSN. My advice would be to sample all that nursing has to offer and don't lock yourself into one speciality. Every job you do prepares you in some way to do a better job in the next area that you explore. BTW, I am 59.
  9. by   Student Mom to Three
    My very first RN job (two weeks after passing NCLEX) was as a school nurse. I have an ADN. Clearly, the requirements vary by state, and likely by district. Check around a bit and good luck!
  10. by   NutmeggeRN
    Holy Guacamole I hope so!!!

    I have another 13 years before I will be eligible for Medicare (52 looking at 65) I won't get health insurance from my district so unless there is gap insurance that is affordable...I'll be here....they may be pushing ME in the wheelchair but I'll be here...

    unless I find a rich man!!! or win Powerball!


    I think I have a better chance of finding affordable insurance at the rate I am going at now! hehe!!!
  11. by   dfs1961
    I plan on working until the age of 66. I'll have 30 years by then and should be able to collect a nice pension, plus, if I'm healthy, that gives me quite a few years left to travel and enjoy retirement, as well as my grown adult children. I do plan, however, on starting to really enjoy my schedule once my youngest graduates from highschool in 11 years. I'll be 53 and hubby and I can do a lot of travelling on my school vacations and during the summer I can easily do my current job well into my 60's. I am on my feet probably 3 out of the 8 hours I work per day. Low stress and enjoyable most days!
  12. by   bella201
    Hey dfs1961 that gives me some hope=)
  13. by   Artistyc1
    Take things one thing at a time, there will be lots of time for those decisions after you complete nursing school. Maybe you won't even want to be a nurse at all! Not everyone that begins nursing school in the first place concludes that nursing is really their calling.
    Also, when you are in school, you will attend lots of different rotations, through many specialties- perhaps another specialty will call to you.
    I don't think (flame me, if you wish,) that school nursing is a wise place for a new grad, anyway. It takes a lot of experience, IMO, to be able to look at all the facets of the problems that come up in this area of nursing. Many of your cares will be social, not medical. I had nearly 30 years fulltime experience before I entered school nursing, and not a day goes by where something I have not seen before occurs! It is not as predictable and routine as many people outside this specialty think.
  14. by   AdobeRN
    I too will be a school nurse for the rest of my career - I'm ok with that, I do like my job and feel I am very lucky to be working with a supportive administration/teachers/staff.

    I am 45, started back to college late (in my 30's), never really had a "real" job that contributed/offered retirement benefits till I became a nurse. So I feel at my age I kindof need to stay in this position just so I can have retirement benefits - who knows what the state of social security will be in in 20 years - Besides that - I LOVE my time off an not having to fight for holidays off.