I hope I'm posting in the correct location (I'm using my phone for this). I also didn't see any previous posts on the subject. I'm an ADN student, and I'm already looking at my next options. One of those options is school nurse. I know some say wait a year, etc. My question is actually about the school nurse credential that California has; I don't know if this is offered in other states or how many other states have it. From what I see and from what I know, being an experienced nurse will help you get a position as a school nurse. Can someone please tell me the point of having a school nurse credential? Thank you in advance!
Yes it is. In California, where I am a current school nurse and a new one at that!, you must have a School Nurse credential. In order to even become a school nurse you need a BSN. When hired by the first school District you will receive a Preliminary School Nurse Credential. You then have 5 years to complete a School Nurse Credential Program within California. There are a few programs out there and they range from 1-2 years. Some of them are online with a few in class meetings, but most programs have hybrid online/classroom instruction. The classes are like Graduate courses and some programs offer a Masters option. After completing the program AND working 2 years as a School Nurse in California you will then qualify for your Clear Credential, or permanente credential. The California Credential is different from the National credential you can test for from the NASN. Please note that this is true for Public Schools and Charter Schools. I'm not sure about Private Schools, but they could be in the same boat.
It is possible to be a School Nurse as a New Grad. I did and I know several nurses that have as well. The county next to me that is part of my NASN/California School Nurse Organization Chapter has an excellent 5 day conference for New School Nurses and a lot of us in the classes are New Grads.
Edit: Also, you can work as a Health Tech with an ADN, but you will not be a Credentialed School Nurse. What this means is that you will be be able to do hearing screening and if you do vision screening and a Student fails, in California that student has to be retested by a Credentialed School Nurse in order to qualify for referral. Basically you can still do First Aid and respond to Emergencies, but you will still need to work under a Credentialed School Nurse with a BSN. California use to have it where an ADN nurse may become a Credentialed School Nurse while they are in a RN to BSN program, but now you must be a BSN when you start work for the District.
Last edit by kenderella89 on Jan 23, '14
: Reason: Added more information