Advice: High school to middle school nurse


Hello School Nurses!  It's been a minute since I've logged on.  Forgive me in advance, this may be a little long.

I need advice.  You all have always come through with advice when ever I've posted on here.  I'm back to ask the best for advice again.  

I've been a nurse over 10 years and a High School Nurse over 6 years now.  

There may be a great opportunity to apply at a middle school closer to my home in a different school district in the near future.  

I am really torn between leaving the high school I currently work at if I happen to get the job at the middle school.  

Here's a little more info that I've narrowed my list down to:

Current job:

Currently work with high schoolers.  Best group of kids.  I have really enjoyed working with this specific age group.  

30 minute drive from home.

Starting to see some things that are making me question lots of things about our district and the more I dig, the less happy I am.  

Seems like morale at my current campus has really gone down.  Staff are leaving left and right. 

Pretty good school health department at the current district I work for.

Prospective Middle school campus:

10 minute drive from home

Smaller campus.  May have a medical assistant assigned in the health clinic working with the school nurse. (This district seems really great about adding a CMA to campuses with a higher census of students).  

This district pays slightly better. 


I'm looking for input.  I'd like to know what you might do if you were in my shoes.  

I know I haven't been offered the job yet. 

However, give me your experiences working with middle school students.  Have any of you gone from the high school to the middle school setting?  

Any words of wisdom are greatly appreciated!   


Always & Forever ❤️



76 Posts

I love Middle School. They are old enough to know names of their teachers, parents and to spell their own name. They are little enough that they still can have open minds and they love learning. But they are also old enough that you can shake your head and tell them that they made a dumb choice.  You can have real life discussions with them. In the beginning of their first year, they come for hugs and minor things, you can teach them and help them understand their bodies. They can go from, "Nurse I feel sick", to "Nurse, I am having lower stomach pains that kind of pulse" or "my headache started 3rd period and I have had two water bottles and put my head down for half of 4th period after I ate lunch. But it still hurts." They are young enough to still have childish delight in the little things but old enough to have fun in-depth real discussions with them. My district is still naïve as well, so at the middle school I don't deal as much with overdoses, pregnancy and high needs emergencies as our high schools do.

Closer campus, better district moral and higher pay?   Can't get much better than that for me.

Specializes in Psych/Addiction/School. Has 21 years experience.

I work in both. I enjoy both as well. In my district we have a lot of fights, mostly gang related, and drug use with some ODs. I have found though that the middle schoolers are more manipulative and they think adults are clueless. Most students have been polite and are a great bunch to work with. The middle school is 5 min away from my house and the high school is 15 min away. The only crappy part is that this district pays their nurses, teachers, and other staff very low. The district also does not take care of all of its campuses, which is sad.