New School Nurse

  1. I just received a job offer as a school nurse and I am set to sign my contract next week. I currently work full-time in a NICU (night shift). My main reason for wanting to switch is that I have a young son and feel that I am missing out too much on his life.

    I will continue to work per-diem in the NICU to keep up with my skills and I want to become an NNP in the future.

    Does anyone have any advice for me starting out as a school nurse?

    Thanks!
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   GdBSN
    Welcome! NASN has great information. That also offer many free CEUs specific to school nursing. Find out what school nurses in your district are required to do from the school perspective (IHPs, 504s). I think the hardest part of transitioning is not the nursing skills, we all have those, it is knowing and understanding the school district policies (admin of meds at school, emergency plans, having/or not having stock medications, sick students, and the ever dreaded lice policy) Good luck and visit here often. Ask questions. The nurses on this site have a wealth of information and love to share their tips and tricks.
  4. by   River Song, RN
    I'm in my third week of the transition from NICU to school nursing. Two of my coworkers made the transition the year prior and told me straight up not to make any judgements until the end of the year. I've already had more than one day where I've think I've made a huge mistake but then I get to sleep in my bed every night and make holiday plans months in advance which is something I never did in the hospital.

    One of the biggest stresses for me is that I work in a District with crazy outdated policies, my Health Services Manual is dated 2008!!!!! Coming from impatient care I am used to ever changing practice based on best evidence and policies that are at least reviewed every now and again even if not updated. I find it very stressful trying to learn a new job with limited training AND policies that don't reflect what's happening in my office.

    I love the kids though and am shocked at how many students wave to me in the hallways. My school is mostly lower SES so I have an opportunity to make a difference in their lives which is pretty cool.
    Good luck!
  5. by   NutmeggeRN
    Join your state and national asociation (NASN), connect with your peers in in your district other nearby districts. Get familiar with your state Immunization rules.
    Good Luck!
  6. by   moreoreo
    In addition to what others have said, keep coming back to this forum! I just started in this role in January, read up on new posts daily, and am always learning new things. It's therapeutic for me and truly is the "nurses station" of our profession.

    It's true that you should give yourself one full year to decide whether this job is right for you. I was constantly overwhelmed last year but feel so even-keeled now, even in the midst of start-of-year paperwork and high visit counts. Despite unexpected situations and emergencies, you WILL develop your own process and routine and start to feel like king or queen of your domain!

    As a parent, you probably already know how to be kind but firm. As a new school nurse (and non-parent), one of my biggest strengths became my greatest weakness--it was so important to me that I be approachable and that my office be a safe place that I was overly caring and sensitive (i.e. a sucker ). Yes, it's one of the pleasures of our position that we are paid to care, but if you make your office THE caring place of the school, you may run into what I did, which is children stopping by every day like the health office is just part of their daily routine. Our visit counts literally went from 20s when I started to 100 by the end of the year so I am just sharing my difficultly gained "wisdom" in case you are prone to being a softie as well. There are times that children need a lot of TLC, but they also need boundaries and limits.

    You will probably have your own version of growing pains so I hope you will reach out here like I did as there are many with wisdom and experience who are kind enough to share!
  7. by   Farawyn
    Welcome!
    This Forum has made me grow as a SN. Great experienced nurses here, and the new ones come in and offer a fresh perspective. I've learned so much.
  8. by   WineRN
    Welcome!

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