Who is your boss?

  1. As a school nurse who is your boss? Do you answer to the school district? Is there a "bigger" nurse somewhere deep in the school system? I am a "wanna be" and I am doing some research and one of the things I was told to look for was the organizational chart. Does anyone have any input?

    Thanks,
    Pam
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   MelissaJaneRN
    Every state is different. In some areas, the school nurses actually work for public health. In other states, your principal is your boss. We have a state health coordinator who is not really in charge of the nurses, but she gives us lots of information, direction, advise, etc. She works for DOE. Also states are different for pay. In Delaware, we are considered the same as the teachers, so we are on the same pay scale as the teachers and in the same union. So whenever the teachers get a raise, we do too. I dont think the pay is bad at all. If you know what states pay like teachers, you can search any given school district in that state, their website, and see if they have the pay scale up on the employment page- a lot do. The pay isnt bad when u factor in I work 7.5 hours a day, have 45 minute planning period, 30 min lunch, my own parking spot :P Hehe, have all holidays off, 2.5 months at summer and 2 weeks in winter, 1 week in spring. Yes I did make more $ working my ass off in the hospital but its a lifestyle change. Good luck! If you are really serious, try substitute nursing in whatever districts are near you- even if they are not hiring, go in with your resume and they may add you on to their sub list. Now that doesnt pay well but again its experience and getting your foot in the door. Thats how I got this job. I know our district is desperate for subs!
  4. by   JudithL_in_NH
    My principal is my boss. I have more experienced nurses at other schools in the district I can go to with questions, but we are all lateral to one another.

    I am paid at 93% of the teachers' pay scale, with no recognition for advanced degrees (the teachers do get paid more according to their degree status); yet I do have a teacher's contract. The 90-something % of teachers' scale is pretty much the norm in this neck of the woods.

    I work an 8-hr day and I run my butt off all day to care for 550+ kids and 78 staff members. Theoretically I get lunch, but, much like at the hospital, I work through it. I arrive 1/2 hour before the students, so again, theoretically I have planning time, but I'm usually conferring with staff either about kids' health issues or the staffs' own health issues, rather than prepping for the health classes I teach or doing other things that would help my office run more smoothly.

    I LOVE IT!! My worst day at school still beats my best day at the hospital!

    Judith L

    Quote from NursePamela
    As a school nurse who is your boss? Do you answer to the school district? Is there a "bigger" nurse somewhere deep in the school system? I am a "wanna be" and I am doing some research and one of the things I was told to look for was the organizational chart. Does anyone have any input?

    Thanks,
    Pam
  5. by   zenman
    Quote from JudithL_in_NH

    I LOVE IT!! My worst day at school still beats my best day at the hospital!

    Judith L



    I'm in an American International School and our super is the boss since we're like our own school district.
  6. by   Cindylufus
    I am actually employed through our health department, which is run by the largest hospital/healthcare system in North Carolina. We have teams based on where in the city we live, and each team has a supervisor. Then all the supervisors have a manager and then there is a director over everyone. So we are paid with tax dollars through the health dept and the healthcare system. So we are really contracted to be in the schools. Kinda different, but it seems to work well.
  7. by   joy09
    Good Luck to you! Right now, I am a first aid officer. lol. I am laughing because i make 19 dollars an hour less than i did at my last job. But, i am a wanna be too and until i get three more undergraduate courses, I can't start the certification process (even though I have a masters in nursing, but that's another story!) I anticipate a worthwhile lifestyle with good pay then. I have flirted with the idea for fifteen years and finally decided this is the life for me!

    Regarding reporting: All district nurses report to "the head nurse" in the district. Her base is the elementary school. Unfortunately, except for scheduling and ordering supplies, she doesn't have much say about budget and policy. She is a tremendous resource to report to clincially. We are supposed to meet monthly with her boss, the Assitant Superintendant of Pupil Life. He has the clout to overrule the principals who we report to daily.

    It doesn't only matter what the chart says. Once you get in there, you figure out who can help you get the job done. At our high school, the principal is a mover and a shaker. The nurse who works there has influence because of her relationship with him. Our head nurse is a twenty five year veteran and not so into team building, collaboration, etc. so she has a tough time getting done what she wants done. Except for those meetings, we don't have access to that Asst. Super. And don't forget the nurse who is the sister-in-law of the school board pres! I am a float so I don't even know who does my evaluation yet! I have worked in a few districts and the bottom line has been, the prinicpal is in charge of his/her building and people.

    Hope you join the ranks when it's right for you!
  8. by   houstonlvn
    OH I am so glad I read this thread.
    I THOUGHT I was the only job that had a non-medical person over me.
    I work at a 24 hour care school/(think boys town with a school/combined with job core)
    My boss is a former EMT (he just DROVE the ambul.)lol
    But I have to admit, I do SOMETIMES go to him for help,
    (he has very bad asthma, therefore can help with asthma kids)

    Mostly though it's 2 nurses explaining to him WHY we are going nuts, and why we need to do things a particular way!
  9. by   luvschoolnursing
    My principal is my boss and above him, I answer to the director of pupil services. I follow the teachers' schedule and contract/pay scale. Less money than the hospital but WAY more autonomy and job satisfaction.

    Find out how your state works and sub in some of your local districts. Good luck!!!
  10. by   michigooseBSN
    In my school district we have "building based management" That means my prinicpal is my immediate boss. However, we have a "nurse leader" (chair of the nursing department) who is our "professional boss".This can be a bit confusing but in actuality, it works pretty well when you have a good principal (which I finally do after several years of a really awful one). I guess this means if my principal told me to do something that I felt was not in my professional scope of practice, I would have my nurse leader to back me up. We nurses (one in every school and 2.5 in the H.S.) are members of the teachers union and paid on the same scale including for advanced degrees. Don't think I don't know how lucky we are, I do!

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