Career as a School Nurse


I wanted to know if anyone had any information on a career as a school Nurse and can share things like

a) The salary (I know its going to be lower than in a clinical setting but how much lower ?)

b) Do you follow the normal school schedule (8-5 M-F 9 months of the year) ?

c) Are you eligible for all the Teacher benefits provided by the state like Pension, Retirement Plan, Health Insurance etc.

d) Any special training required. Like additional certification, exams etc.

e) Are these jobs very difficult to get

f) Can you be a school nurse and work PRN in a hospityal setting in the summer etc.

g) If anyone has details about how to get a school nurse job for any of the North Houston area school districts ( Spring, Klein, Tomball, Cy Fair, Conroe, Humble etc) please let me know.


217 Posts

Time to pull out my trusty Pfizer Guide to Careers in Nursing :) I'll just quote as many things as I can see that answer your questions.

Fast Facts

What do you need?

- To practice in accordance with current standards as identified by the National Association of School Nurses

- A 250 Question, four hour exam for NCSN certification

- Certain counseliing skills may be required

What does it take?

- a current license as a registered nurse

- a Bachelor of Science In Nursing in some states

- NCSN certification (provides formal recognition of basic school nursing knowledge) may be required

Where will you practice?

- school systems

- county health departments

- state health departments

You will work during school hours and get summers off, so of course you can do whatever you want during the summer.

The book describes the pay as "less than stellar". According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the lowest 10% of nurses earn around 40K a year, so think of that as a worst case scenario.

"According to the Health Resources and Services Administration at the US Department of Health and Human Services, there are currently 47,600 RNs employed as school nurses in public schools".

That's all the relevant stuff I could find.


34 Posts

I am not a nurse yet, but am a certified science teacher in TX familiar with most of the districts around here. I'm a native of Austin and most districts pay nurses on the teacher salary scale (probably much less than most nurses make in a hospital or even Dr's office setting....) Some districts require a BSN and experience, others require only an RN license, some LVN. Smaller, rural districts might set a pay scale separate for nurses and professionals other than teachers, but generally nurses will not make more than a teacher (most districts have a "Certified Professional" payscale and nurses and teachers fall under this scale). Pay for school district employees is not really based on market demands or even education level but a perceived accountability level, politics, and the amount of PR a particular position might involve. As an example a teacher with a PhD in Chemistry typically makes less than a counselor, an ESL teacher with a bachelor's or even a head football coach at a high school b/c of stipends.... The benefits are you will have summers off unless you find work in a district for summer school. Your day hours at a school are generally the hours of that school.

Payscales for districts are typically available on their website. The minimum state pay is like 27K I think, but most districts pay more than the minimum- very rural might be 35K with larger districts starting in the low 40's- dallas and houston pay a little better. If you get a job in a private school you can negotiate your pay.

However, I would love this job, for me the pay is no worse than I made as a teacher and I wouldn't have to write lesson plans's all perspective I guess!


190 Posts

Nurses are paid on the same scale as teachers in Ector County, so as a new school nurse, you would make around 42,000/yr.

I taught until last May when I returned to an Accelerated BSN program. My school nurse loves her job and she has the same holidays as teachers. She says that it's very low stress once you find your groove. She says the first year can be torturous!

Two of our district nurses work in ER for extra money so working PRN elsewhere is absolutely an option.

Good luck!


328 Posts

Specializes in ICU, School Nurse, Med/Surg, Psych.

I loved my job as a school nurse in Arizona! I was able to design and implement teritary, and secondary care for kids 2 1/2 years old (pre school) through 8th grade. You are part of the department of education so it really depends on the state. In Iowa for example there are 5 nurses for the entire school district and they supervise "health aids" who are high school graduates with no outside training. But for 177 days a year it is great!! I worked med/surg on the weekends and during the summer..if I wanted to. It was always great getting that $5000 check at the begining of summer! (you can slice your pie -annual pay- several different ways and I took a smaller paycheck during the school year to get the balance all at once. Some people take the smaller check all year round and others take a larger paycheck just during the school year. CHOICES!!)

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