I am a retired LPN working as a substitute assistant school nurse a few days a month. The pay is so poor that I consider myself a volunteer, but I don't do it for the money....I do it because I still love nursing and I love working with teenagers in particular but I no longer have the chops to do critical care nursing as well as I used to. (they old gray mare just ain't what she used to be).
I worked for most of my career in critical care nursing where I had a very broad scope. I gave blood products, pushed my own IV meds, titrated my own drips. I had kids on vents, the oscillator, HFO and ECMO. I shot my own swan numbers...I pretty much did it all except take new admissions and there were very few things that my RN charge nurse had to do for me that I could not do myself. I am all for LPNs in the ICU where states have a broad scope of practice for LPNs. That said, I believe that the actual school nurse should be an RN with a BSN as the school nurse in many places may be the only health care provider that the student sees on a regular basis and works independently. At some of the inner city schools where I work, the school nurse is more like the kids primary care physician and arranges care from a mobile unit that comes to the school. In the PICU, I have the charge nurse, the attending, the resident, the nursing supervisor, and other veteran nurses in the unit to talk to. I can chart "HO notified" and I'm covered. In the school setting...its all on you you. I suppose that you can call the director of nursing, but she isn't there...she can't see the kid. You would think as a veteran PICU nurse I would be overqualified to work in the school setting. Critical care nursing did not prepare me for what I often deal with in the schools....pregnancy, STDs, child abuse and neglect, bullying issues arising from gender identity and sexual orientation issues, drug and alcohol abuse, metal illnesse, and more complex and medically fragile children than you might think. I've had kids on vents, who needed cathed, who required meds, G tube feeds and I've even had kids on TPN. Last school year, a grandmother collapsed and the school nurse and a teacher used the AED and preformed CPR until the paramedics arrived. Its a bigger job than I ever thought it was when I was a PICU nurse.
Our school nurses have the same contract as the teachers do...same salery and benefits. The minimum education is the BSN and a certificate from the department of education to practice as a school RN....and many of our nurses hold MSN or MEd degrees as well for which they are compensated pretty well. They all all members of the teachers union and have a nurses' bargaining unit as well. Nurses with less formal education (LPNs or RNs without the certificate from the department of ed) can work as assistant school nurses where they are usually assigned to specific special needs schools or classrooms to take care of students who require skilled nursing care that the regular school RN simply would not have time to do. They are considered classified employees vs professional and the pay is pretty poor. Many of the assistant nurses are retired school nurses....or just retired nurses who aren't ready to be put out to pasture just yet. It would be a very hard job to make ends meet on and I would imagine one would need to marry well or have another part time job to do it on their own.
Best to you,