school nurse with masters degree? | allnurses

school nurse with masters degree?

  1. 0 Hello school nurses! I am looking into one day becoming a school nurse but would like to pursue a masters degree (MSN) and become either a pediatric or peds psychiatric CNS or NP. I'm not sure if i should shell out the money now and work as an NP or CNS until I become a school nurse (I know you must become certified and go to school for it) or wait until I become a school nurse and then go back to school with the hopes they would provide tuition reimbursment. I have a few questions. If anyone could help me, I'd be very greatful!

    Is there an advantage of being an NP or CNS when applying for school nurse positions (meaning will the school utilize you as an NP in the school nurse role and will you be better paid with a master's degree?) Also, do most school systems offer tuition reimbursement for a master's degree? I live in northern New Jersey. Thanks in advance!
  2. Visit  kerri212 profile page

    About kerri212

    From 'new jersey'; 38 Years Old; Joined Dec '02; Posts: 75; Likes: 1.

    4 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  Jeanine profile page
    0
    Once you get your NP, you'll price yourself right out of the Education market. Perhaps you could mix the two if you work in a school clinic in either an inner city or wealthy district. You do get paid more as a school nurse once you get your masters degree in anything (counseling, education, nursing, etc) in NJ. Most teacher's contracts have a tuition reimbursement built into them once you're certified and working in the school.
  4. Visit  GigLs2u profile page
    0
    At least here, you can work in a school setting as a NP with prescriptive authority through a joint venture between the school district and the county hospital system. The salary market is based on the hospital because these nurses, NP, are employed by the Harris County Hospital District. They can be designated primary care practioners on their medicaid or CHIPS plans.

    They are overseen by a physician but there seems to be significant more autonomy and is away from the politics of the hospital.

    Some clinical experience might be useful before pursuing NP but it is truely a personal decision.

    Quote from kerri212
    Hello school nurses! I am looking into one day becoming a school nurse but would like to pursue a masters degree (MSN) and become either a pediatric or peds psychiatric CNS or NP. I'm not sure if i should shell out the money now and work as an NP or CNS until I become a school nurse (I know you must become certified and go to school for it) or wait until I become a school nurse and then go back to school with the hopes they would provide tuition reimbursment. I have a few questions. If anyone could help me, I'd be very greatful!

    Is there an advantage of being an NP or CNS when applying for school nurse positions (meaning will the school utilize you as an NP in the school nurse role and will you be better paid with a master's degree?) Also, do most school systems offer tuition reimbursement for a master's degree? I live in northern New Jersey. Thanks in advance!
  5. Visit  bergren profile page
    0
    I honestly think both the NP and the CNS are good preparation for the school nurse role. I lean toward the CNS (it is the choice I made) as the NP gives a bit more emphasis to the primary care provider aspect of school nursing and about half of the job is health prevention and promotion. Having said that, I know many FNPs and PNPs who are school nurses and are great and you will definitely use your high level assessment skills. If you would prefer to have the option of prescriptive authority and work in a clinic setting, now or later, then go for the NP. Unless working in a School Based Health Clinic, you would not likely get to prescribe at school, but I do know of a few exceptions to that, school nurses who can prescribe - they are usually in private and or boarding schools. It is definitely an advantage to be able to perform the school physicals.

    New Jersey has a required school nurse certification that includes some masters classes. You would likely need to complete that before you were able to get a job. I am not familiar enough with NJ requirements to know if you can work on it after you are in the position. The NJSNA website has the certification requirements and a list of all the schools that have the certification programs: http://www.njssna.org/

    If the school nurse position is on the teacher's salary scale, and if the teachers get tuition reimbursement, then, yes, it is likley that your master's degree will be reimbursible. But ask to what extent - it may not be as generous as in the hospital setting. It is my understanding that most school nurses in NJ are on teacher's salary scale - but ask. Usually in non teacher salary scale positions the pay is good to start, equivalent to what nurses are getting in other districts, but it makes a big difference in the long run with salary increases, benefits and retirement. Just like the teachers, the pay scale takes into account the number of credits at the masters level.

    NJSNA is having a conference in September. http://www.njssna.org/pedconf.htm If you are able to, go and use the opportunity to ask questions. Bring your resume. I attended a state level conference after relocating to a state, met a school nurse adminsitrator with an opening 15 minutes from my home, was interviewed on site and started two weeks later.

    Good luck!
  6. Visit  Jessy_RN profile page
    0
    Great plans, I wish you the best of luck.


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