Nurse for the whole district?

  1. 0
    Hi all!

    I am currently the nurse for an elementary school, of approx 380 students. I have been here 3 years. My district is huge! Between our 2 high schools alone, I believe there are nearly 4000 students.

    I have been keeping my eyes peeled for other opportunities. I love school nursing, but my particular school and district have a lot of issues. I recently saw that a nearby district is hiring. That district is tiny, only around 800 students in all, and all on one campus. They have a fantastic union, way better contract, and way better pay. My school is very poor, the hiring district is wealthier. From what I have found, it looks like there is one nurse and one nurse's aide for the district. I'm torn as to whether I should apply for the job.

    So, it's a much different situation than my current job. I'm wondering what it's like to be the only nurse for the district. Is there ever anyone else to bounce ideas off of, or ask questions? Do I have enough experience to be the only nurse in the district??

    Any insight??
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  4. 7 Comments so far...

  5. 1
    I'm had 2 District Nurse Positions and I love it. The first was District Nurse for 5 schools (4 elementary and 1 middle school). I had health assistants at each site and my office was located at the District office. I traveled for emergencies, meetings, or insulin administration for my 1 younger kinder and/or observation for my middle schooler if the health assistant wasn't there. I also did traveling for daily catheterization/ostomy care of one younger student. It can get busy, but prioritization is the key. Staff support is the key as well. Keep in mind you're also responsible for training staff at all the sites which could get a bit crazy.

    At my current position I have 3 high schools (1 is a very small continuation school) and no health aids. So I spend 2 days at one school in the health office treating students, another two at the 2nd high school, and 1/2 day in the morning at the continuation school then rotate between my larger 2 schools for the rest of the afternoon. I travel between my schools for emergencies or meetings, etc. However I see fit. I also do training of all my staff and I'm more independent because I'm the only health professional but I get paid more because of it. I love my job and it can get crazy going back and forth but I'm young, fierce, and ready to tackle everything. Plus, like my previous schools my staff are excellent at providing support and standing in when I'm not there. I have a District phone plus my personal cell. Only a few people have my personal cell (those I trust). I had one day where I had all my phones ringing at once. Crazy day! If you are organized and good at prioritization then yes go for it!
    Tina, RN likes this.
  6. 1
    i went from being a nurse in a special ed school with a pert time nurse to help me on occasional days to a nurse in a large district with a variety of nurses to call up if I had any questions to now being the lone wolf in my district. I'm it.
    My best piece of advise it to either maintain a relationship with the district that you are leaving, particularly if it's close to the one you are going to and/or develop a relationship with a school nurse in a similar situation in a nearby district. Also, if you have a local school nurses' organization - county level or regional, join it and network. It's not often that I have to call on one of my nurse contacts, but occasionally something will come up - usually an interpretation of the law type thing, and it's nice to have someone you can call on.
    Tina, RN likes this.
  7. 1
    I am in a tiny district so I am the only Nurse in district BUT I have reached out to the nurse's in the surrounding districts and we all call each other when we need help or to bounce an idea off of. It works well.
    Tina, RN likes this.
  8. 0
    Thanks for the comments!

    The position is listed as "11 month". Has anyone heard of this for a school nurse? I'm thinking that maybe the nurse is required to cover summer school... Right now I am a 10 month employee, which works well since I have school aged kids at home. I'm leaning toward not applying for this job. The thought of being totally on my own for the whole district makes me nervous!
  9. 1
    Quote from Tina, RN
    Thanks for the comments!

    The position is listed as "11 month". Has anyone heard of this for a school nurse? I'm thinking that maybe the nurse is required to cover summer school... Right now I am a 10 month employee, which works well since I have school aged kids at home. I'm leaning toward not applying for this job. The thought of being totally on my own for the whole district makes me nervous!
    Yes. I'm actually 12 months because summer school starts the last 2 weeks of June and goes to the 1st 3 weeks in July and then school starts the 2nd week of August. I also agree with the other comments to reach out to Nurse's in Districts surrounding you. They are great support and I'm also on the list serv for School Nurse's in the County next to me which is bigger and has way more Nurse's and support.
    Tina, RN likes this.
  10. 3
    If you think you might be interested what s the harm in applying and interviewing. You'll never know if it's a fit until you really find out more about the job. Right?
  11. 0
    Quote from 100kids
    If you think you might be interested what s the harm in applying and interviewing. You'll never know if it's a fit until you really find out more about the job. Right?
    True...


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