Quote from danceluver
Is a school nursing certificate/credential required to become a school nurse? I know some universities offer these credentials, but is it really necessary to go through those programs in order to become a school nurse? Do most schools require it in order to be hired, or will you BSN suffice (RN license)? Will schools hire new BSN/RN grads?
As everyone else says, it depends on the state.
IMHO, I do not think its appropriate for a new grad to be hired as a school nurse because one has to be able to work independently and good nursing comes with experience. In the hospital, there are plenty of people to talk to and to look at your patient. When I was working in the PICU, we were constantly asking each other questions. Working in the school setting, there are no docs, no change nurses, no house supervisor who can take a look at the kid with you. Its all on you.
If you wish to do school nursings someday, I'm going to suggest you may want to work in peds acute care first...even better would be PICU. Many of my colleagues who are school nurses are often former critical care nurses...NICU, PICU, or even adult ICU or ER. These units require you to develop exceptional assessment skills....which I have found very helpful in school nursing. You also get a lot of medically fragile children in the schools that you wouldn't see years ago and school nurses must have skills that were once thought reserved for acute care nurses. You won't be titrating drips or doing complex dressing changes, but you might have to care for a kid on a vent with a trach, give a GT feed or even start TPN. Once you have gained experience in acute care and become the nurse who others come to for help or advice, than you are ready for school nursing. In someways, the school nurse acts as a primary care provider as they may be the only medical professional that a student sees on a regular basis and they coordinate care with other health care professionals.
Best to you,