Do You Like Being A School Nurse?

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Nurse ABC

Nurse ABC

Has 14 years experience. 437 Posts

jk82 said:
I am trying to negotiate an hourly pay...what is typical for school nurses...with NO benefits?! I make almost $36/hr with benefits at the hospital... I know I will take a paycut I just can't go as low as $25

Here we would make $2-4 less an hour as a new grad with NO benefits for school nurses. It all depends on area of the country, experience, education, and pay rate as deemed by board of education. We are paid same as teachers.

TSMRNBSN

TSMRNBSN

7 Posts

No benefits? I would have to think really hard about that.... I get very low pay, in a very high income area :crying2:, but they offer great benefits:snurse:. I supplement the income by working at a camp in the summer. Still a huge pay cut from the hospital.. probably 30k:woot: lower than typical med/surg nurse with 5 years experience, like myself. The hours, time off, and stress level are significantly less. It also depends on who you work for. As a previous poster mentioned, if you get a principal, or administration that are just uncaring, unprofessional, and torturous... it might be time to move to another district.

SHAMBRALAM

SHAMBRALAM

13 Posts

I am currently working in an adult Telemetry unit (days) and have done a lot of thinking about what I want out of life and nursing and truly want to become a school nurse. I am in the process of finishing my bachelors degree and I am working on obtaining the experience necessary to become a school nurse. I have an interview for a postpartum unit (nights), but I am unsure if this is a route that would be worth taking. (I still need 1 1/2 years of acute care experience, I have 6 months on the tele unit I am on and 4 months of experience as a RN weekend supervisor for a Rehab facility) I am wondering if a Pediatric ER would be better suited for my long term goals. I used to work in education as a Teacher's Assistant and had originally intended to become a teacher before changing career choices. I always intended to work with children in a school setting. Does anyone have any advice for me? Thank you

jk82

jk82

Specializes in Pediatrics. 53 Posts

I have another interview for a district nurse...one nurse for 39,000 students. Is that crazy? Salary is only 40k with no benefits. I really want a school nurse job but this is al crazy for having a BSN and such a large population of students shouldn't pay better?!

schooldistrictnurse

schooldistrictnurse

Specializes in School Nursing, Public Health, Home Care. 400 Posts

yes, that is crazy.

shellfrmmo

shellfrmmo, ASN, BSN, LPN, LVN, RN

Specializes in Community Health Nurse. Has 26 years experience. 61 Posts

Wondering if you actually became a school nurse?

My background:

CNA 1992-1996: Oncology/Nephrology, Staffing Agency, Medical floor which dealt mainly with HIV and TB patients because it had the best ventilation in the hospital and it was 1992 so it was all fairly new to us in middle america, Psych. Certified Home Health Aide.

LPN 1996-2009: Home Health Coordinator, Medical Floor, Occupational Medicine, Family Practitioner Office, Cardiologist Office, Health Fair Screen Team for corporations/public health.

RN 2009-present: Medical Floor, Screenings for Health Fairs, School Nurse

Although my background is not extensive, I will say that school nursing is in the top three picks of jobs. I loved Occupational Health because you saw a lot of trauma's and did a lot of physicals, screenings, and office visits that kept the skills in tact. It was an awesome job and it was M-F 9-5. That was best for seeing trauma's and keeping those skills the most like an ER setting without the fakers.

Screen Team was the best for flexibility. You went in and signed up for the fair you wanted, the position you wanted to do (phlebotomy, osteoporosis scans, BP, nutrition...) and it was PRN. No benefits which is why I left. You went to work at 6am and were usually home by 12 depending on the health fair and company hours.

School Nursing is a different creature. It really is. There is no doctor to back you up. Its your call. When a kid falls on the playground, you make the decision of EMS or not. It really is all on you. Do you call the parents on a certain rash? You learn the fakers pretty fast. You deal with diabetics, seizure students, tube feedings, asthmatics, food allergies, medication admin, and on and on. I have seen some really cool disease processes that I never knew existed as well. That stuff is the cool and fun stuff. Then there is the monotony of the students coming in for chap stick and cough drops and belly aches and any issue to get out of class and blah blah blah. I love the critical thinking that is involved in some cases. I do assess them all as needed. You will do things a lot different than you ever have.

You do across the room assessments and waiting in line to see you assessments and you sneak a peak out there door as they are walking away and don't think you are watching assessments. Its amazing how a limp or pain just disappears when no-one is looking. Its just a miracle!!! You have to be one step ahead of them.

I have never worked in ICU so I have no idea how that goes. Certainly more complex. I love the hours, I love the days off, I love the decreased amount of drama. I do not miss hospital drama or relations. I do not miss working holidays or weekends. Insurance is paid for, great retirement. I see about 80-100 students a day so it can get pretty crazy when the occasional kid passes out or the seizure student has a grand mal, or you have to run to the gymnasium because someone hit their head, or 2 staff members collide while playing football and you have to get them settled and off to occumed (one had to get emergency surgery to set his teeth while the other one ends up with 10 staples in his head). It can be very rewarding and very interesting and very busy.

the other thing is, staff are here because they want to be here. They love what they do. Unless you work in a school you can never appreciate the care that goes in to teaching. they are truly concerned for these kids and I love that.

You have to be able to think independently (which I know ICU nurses do all the time)

You have to be tolerant of the frequent flyers. You may be the only attention that student gets.

You have to be strong because their stories can and will break your heart.

You have to be able to see signs of things. Everyone has a story. Its about the whole student.

Are they in here because they are sick, malnourished, bullied, abused, sad, eating disorder, suicidal, cutters, hate school, learning difficulty, bad vision, food allergy, heart condition, anxiety. There are a million reasons why a student walks in the nurses office and we have to be investigators as much as anything else. I have gotten kids glasses and that relieved headaches, discovered lactose intolerance, hotlined for abuse or neglect, and on and on.

Its a good job. I love it a lot.

Edited by shellfrmmo

shellfrmmo

shellfrmmo, ASN, BSN, LPN, LVN, RN

Specializes in Community Health Nurse. Has 26 years experience. 61 Posts

ick! my school gives 9 sick days and 2 personal days a year, paid. We get paid time if we go to a conference as well. My salary is very competitive hourly to an RN job around, the difference being that I work 186 days a year at 7.5 hours. So yearly it seems low but hourly it is competitive. My insurance is paid by the school district (family is at cost to me). I can choose a 10 month or 12 month pay check. Great retirement plan. We are salary at my school.

You just need to decide if the flexibility and hours work best for you.

I love the time off with my kids.

TSMRNBSN

TSMRNBSN

7 Posts

36,000 kids!!?!? How is that possible?

jk82

jk82

Specializes in Pediatrics. 53 Posts

It's the largest district in the state! Covers 5 cities had 25 elementary schools, 10 middle schools and 5 high schools!

TSMRNBSN

TSMRNBSN

7 Posts

That sounds crazy! How do you care for that many kids? Do they call you on the phone when there is an emergency?

schooldistrictnurse

schooldistrictnurse

Specializes in School Nursing, Public Health, Home Care. 400 Posts

Jk-- unless there's way more to the job story, my advice in one word: RUN

jk82

jk82

Specializes in Pediatrics. 53 Posts

Thanks., I said thank you but no thank you! The nurses travels from school to school everyday chasing the diabetics., emergencies, IEP mtgs, parent meetings Etc., sounds way too crazy!!