Degree as related to salary

Specialties School


Specializes in OR.

Hi - looking to transition to school nursing. I have 13 years nursing experience in OR, none in school nursing. Just landed a sub gig to get some experience. I have a couple of questions about the degree component on the salary schedule for permanent full-time nurses.

If you complete the higher degrees, are you guaranteed the salary bump? Or does it need to be approved by the district?

My husband works for the VA (physical therapist) and getting specialty certification bumps them from GS-12 to GS-13, but unless your supervisor gets promotional clearance from higher-ups, you stay at GS-12 despite obtaining your certification. I don't know where the clearance comes from, if its budget-related or what. Is it similar in school nursing?

Does it matter what kind of masters or doctorate you get? I presume it has to be nursing/health/education related? 

Just wondering what kind of growth opportunities there are here. Thanks!


Specializes in Peds.

Check with your state.  In our state, we are paid on the teacher's scale and the only increase we get is with the completion of our National School Nurse Certification (which is mandatory).  

Specializes in pediatrics, school nursing.

It is probably different district to district or state to state, as the requirements to be a school nurse vary widely. In Massachusetts, the typical requirement is that you have a minimum of a BSN & RN, and that you have registered with the dept. of ED for a "professional" educator license (despite not being an educator - they have separate designations for nurses)and your place on the pay scales is generally determined by your degree level (B, B+15, M, M+15, or D).  Some districts have contractual clauses that give exceptions to this. In my district, I would need to obtain a masters in a health related field (I believe an MSN or MPH are the two most common degrees) in order to be in the Master's column, but one town over has a clause in their contract for nurses who have passed the National Certification exam (NBCSN), that bumps them up to the master's column. It is a goal of mine to have this clause in our union contract eventually. 

A nurse in my district had a master's in education that she obtained before she went into nursing, but the district and state deemed that because she was working as a nurse, it didn't qualify her to be in the Master's column and the state also would not award her professional status as a nurse, unless she A) got another Master's in Nursing or "other health related field" OR B) passed the national certification exam.

Some states make their school nurses do a certificate program through an accredited college/university, that will prepare them to take the board certification exam IN ADDITION to the exam, regardless of their education beyond their BSN.  

If you have the opportunity, talk to some seasoned school nurses in the district you're subbing for to see what the requirements are like in that district.

Specializes in School Nursing.

In our school division, our starting salary depends on how much full time experience you have as a nurse. Part time and per-diem does not count. As far as level of education, there is only a nominal annual stipend ( $500) for having your BSN, nothing extra for anything else. You don't get the $500 all at once. It is broken down into however many paychecks you get a year, 20, or 24 checks.

+ Add a Comment