New School Nurse

  1. Hi all

    I'm a new school nurse and this is my 4th day on the job. I have so much to learn, prior to this my first nursing job was at a nursing home/rehab and before that I worked as a PCA in a hospital for almost 5 years. I wanted more autonomy, change of environment, to try something new and also a slower pace due to burnout at the nursing home and never feeling any type of consistency. This is just a complete change of pace. It definitely is slower but also a lot of work that needs to be initiated soon as it is the start of the school semester. Just wondering if there are any school nurse vets out there that have any tips or tricks they want to share with a newbie.

    I like it so far, I have my own office, laptop, can go on my lunch break uninterrupted when I want to, I'm salary so no working overtime necessary, and so far the staff here are very friendly. I start the day here at 7:00am and end at 3:45pm and it's M-F with all the perks of working in a school, I'm off when the kids are off and all breaks are paid. I'm at a middle school part of a charter school network. The kids are hilarious so I already love them. I just want to make sure I can maximize my day as efficiently as possible. I'm also in my first trimester of pregnancy, wasn't planned and so I get fatigued very often and need to keep occupied to make it through the day. This feels like a good fit as this is my first pregnancy and I have no idea what to expect. They offer paid maternal leave and I also get 6 weeks paid in the summer so maternity leave is all set. I haven't told them yet though. I'm also used to doing a million things at once and running around at the nursing home so I need to find my balance here. Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   Csn2016
    Hello! I made a very similar post this time last year (except I was on the verge of a break down because I had no guidance and suddenly close to 1200 kids to learn about! It was a disaster and the health office hadn't been cleaned out in over 30 years (no joke I found items that expired in 1982 [I was born in 1984] ) And I was also pregnant (24 weeks--had my daughter in December). Congratulations on your first baby...this is the best type of career path to have as a parent! The biggest thing is finding your balance. I'm still tweaking how I 'run' my office a year later. I just had my mantra (no one will die if I miss their vision/hearing screening etc haha) to keep myself on track when I started getting overwhelmed. Hopefully a lot of things were already in place when you got there (when I started my position the nurse previous was very anti computer-everything was hand written, forms were extremely outdated etc) so I had to update medication forms, charting logs etc and figure out my 'system' to help my day run as efficiently as possible. The entire year is basically going to be you figuring it out as it comes...I was super excited to start this year because now I KNEW what was going to happen and how the days/weeks/months play out.
    Best of luck to you in your new position! You will LOVE it!
  4. by   Farawyn
    Welcome!!!
    it's a tough job, but someone has gotta do it.

    This site has saved my life many times, both information wise and for plain old support and laughs. I consider these folks my co-workers.
  5. by   Farawyn
    Oh, and on Wednesdays we wear pink.
  6. by   SullyRN
    We are glad to have you!! School nursing is the best decision I ever made, and I hope you can say the same.

    School nursing can be a lonely job, especially for those of us who don't have a health aide. So the people on this forum are my "co-workers", lots of great advice, experience, and we're here if you just need to vent.
  7. by   NutmeggeRN
    Oh I get it, no kids in the building yet, Right??!! Ha!

    Welcome!!!
  8. by   MHDNURSE
    Welcome! I am also in a MA Charter school and totally love it!!
  9. by   ana010
    I am starting my 7th year in school nursing. It is so rewarding! I remember the first and second years as being very tough with a steep learning curve. Hang in there. My first principal told me it would take me at least 3 years to feel like I knew what I was doing. She was right.
    If you have questions, ask here, as it is a safe environment to get feedback and guidance from fellow school nurses. Also, make friends with other school nurses in your district. It is good to have a supportive network
  10. by   NutmeggeRN
    Quote from Csn2016
    Hello! I made a very similar post this time last year (except I was on the verge of a break down because I had no guidance and suddenly close to 1200 kids to learn about! It was a disaster and the health office hadn't been cleaned out in over 30 years (no joke I found items that expired in 1982 [I was born in 1984] ) And I was also pregnant (24 weeks--had my daughter in December). Congratulations on your first baby...this is the best type of career path to have as a parent! The biggest thing is finding your balance. I'm still tweaking how I 'run' my office a year later. I just had my mantra (no one will die if I miss their vision/hearing screening etc haha) to keep myself on track when I started getting overwhelmed. Hopefully a lot of things were already in place when you got there (when I started my position the nurse previous was very anti computer-everything was hand written, forms were extremely outdated etc) so I had to update medication forms, charting logs etc and figure out my 'system' to help my day run as efficiently as possible. The entire year is basically going to be you figuring it out as it comes...I was super excited to start this year because now I KNEW what was going to happen and how the days/weeks/months play out.
    Best of luck to you in your new position! You will LOVE it!
    I'm still tweaking after all these years!!!
  11. by   WineRN
    Welcome and Congrats on the baby!!
    I'm expecting my second and also in the first trimester so I've been wiped lately. I went to bed at 8:30 yesterday, it was glorious.

    This will be a whole new kind of busy for you, and there is always something to do. I can honestly say that everyday has been different and I've never been bored (even though I will welcome the day that boredom decides to come).

    There are a few newbie threads on here with great tips but just in general:

    1. Document everything.
    2. Ice, Saltine crackers and boredom are magic cures for most things.
    3. Make Simple nurse passes with very few options and tell the teachers they need to use them
    4. Clean out the office as soon as you can to make it YOUR space.

    And of course pop on here to ask questions, tell funny stories or just to vent.
  12. by   Farawyn
    Quote from NutmeggeRN
    Oh I get it, no kids in the building yet, Right??!! Ha!

    Welcome!!!
    This.
    To the OP.

    It is a different pace, you're right. Until it isn't.
    Best of luck.
  13. by   mag426
    Thank you very much for all your kind words and advice. I hope I find my groove at some point as well. Yes, prior to me coming on everything was hand written there is paperwork everywhere so I'm currently converting everything over to Excel, to keep track of allergies and how can receive what OTC meds.
  14. by   mag426
    Thanks! I hope you all can become my co-workers in a sense as well since I'm the only nurse here I feel a little isolated in that sense.

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