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It's been a little over a year....

Posted

Has 4 years experience.

...since I started my SN job and I still feel like there are A LOT of things that I still don't know, mostly about the workings of a school. Like 504's and where I come into play with them, what requires an IHP and what doesn't, how involved am I supposed to be in regards to kids who are absent for illnesses, stuff like this among other things. When I started, I had no background in a school at all and the nurse who trained me focused on hearing, vision, and scoliosis screens and our immunization report. I'm pretty good at those! But nothing else was covered and I didn't know to ask about other things. It might be a little late in the game to still be confused on these roles, but I still am! Did you go to any official trainings when you started or was it just a "figure it out as you go" kind of thing?

OldDude

Specializes in Pediatrics Retired.

It was figure it out as you go for me...

MrNurse(x2), ADN

Specializes in IMC, school nursing. Has 28 years experience.

I was the school's first nurse. I had to develop the position, policies and procedures, all while figuring out what that meant, as my background was acute care. This forum, above all else, was my bedrock for information. Research all you can, read through these posts and don't be afraid to ask, lots of experience here. You will get an answer pretty quickly. I am in a private, no 504 or IEP, although I do have plans for my allergy and diabetic students.

crazynursebsn

Specializes in Med-Surg, Home Health, Hospice, School. Has 10 years experience.

For me, it was a figure it out as you go.

MHDNURSE, BSN, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Pediatrics, Community, and School Health. Has 21 years experience.

The 2016-2017 school year is my second year as a SN. Last year my charter school had just opened and they hired me 2 weeks after the school year had already started. They had nothing in place, not even an office for me. The administration has been amazingly supportive and have basically let me run the show here in terms of my job. I have 100% learned as I go along, have learned a LOT from this site and wish I knew of it last year when I started. I am lucky in that my school is really small. Last year we were just Kindergarten, this year K and 1st, next year K-2, etc. So as we grow slowly, I am learning more. Last year I was hung up on all the screenings, immunizations, etc. and finally realized that the health and safety of the students is my top priority and all that other stuff comes second. It has allowed me to relax more this year. There is always something to learn and I would love to attend some SN focused conferences, as well as get my SN certification (though not required for this job).

ohiobobcat

Specializes in ED, School Nurse.

My state offers a new school nurse orientation every year. The kicker was the first session was 1 month in to the school year. Tha might be something to look in to in your state.

I was totally flying by the seat of my pants the first 6 months or so. The other nurses in my district kept telling me "Call with any questions!!" and I kept telling them "I don't even know what to ask!!" So created a school nurse handbook since my arrival. I found after the first year I started to get my groove. I still learn every day in this job, but I don't feel so lost anymore.

Supernrse01

Specializes in Telemetry, Gastroenterology, School Nrs. Has 18 years experience.

It was figure it out as you go for me too, and honestly, I still sometimes feel like I'm lost :DI've been at this for 7 years and there is always something changing or something new popping up! Are you certified in school nursing? I learned a lot of information concerning 504s and IHP during my SN courses. My state (through the State Health Department) also offers an orientation for new school nurses, which I attended when I first got started. There was a ton of information presented there and I walked away with a huge binder full of resources and key points! It would be nice if you could find something like that in your area!

KeeperOfTheIceRN, ADN

Has 4 years experience.

Thanks for all of the input guys! Luckily, I'm not the FIRST nurse so there aren't very many things I'm having to implement. However, I do feel there are a few changes to policies that we should make, but I'll go that route once I get more comfortable with my role. My state does not require certification, however, I kind of wish they did for the whole purpose of helping new school nurses learn what they're responsible for. I suppose I could always look into certification even though its not required! I'd even be happy with an orientation to the job just so I learn some of the lingo of the school! Give me hospital lingo any day, and I got you! Give me school lingo and I'm gonna pretend I know what you're talking about and then I'll be Googling the mess out of some words! I'm the only nurse in my district, so I've reached out to a few nurses from other districts in our area and have found one that really helps.

Give me hospital lingo any day, and I got you! Give me school lingo and I'm gonna pretend I know what you're talking about and then I'll be Googling the mess out of some words! I'm the only nurse in my district, so I've reached out to a few nurses from other districts in our area and have found one that really helps.

Right?! I swear my entire search history was made up of school terms that I didn't know; 504, IEP, IHP, ELA, ACT 80, ACT 48, RACK training, ALICE. Please give me CABG, CHF, ETOH, MSO4, HCTZ, LVAD-I understand those!

KeeperOfTheIceRN, ADN

Has 4 years experience.

Right?! I swear my entire search history was made up of school terms that I didn't know; 504, IEP, IHP, ELA, ACT 80, ACT 48, RACK training, ALICE. Please give me CABG, CHF, ETOH, MSO4, HCTZ, LVAD-I understand those!

Hahahahahaha YES!!!! :yes:

abc123RN

Has 21 years experience.

In my 4th year, still feeling lost on a regular basis. Give me meds, T1D kids, asthma, injuries but some of the school specific paper work is crazy! I was called just this week about a report that I had no clue I had left info off for the past 3 years due to the wording of the request of information. I love this job until the CO people get involved, then I just want to run from the paper shufflers!

Amethya

Specializes in Cardiology, School Nursing, General. Has 5 years experience.

The last nurse left half way during the year, so she left me some things. They trained me on some things, but rest of it was learn as I go.

KKEGS, MSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 8 years experience.

I'm sure like most new jobs it takes a loooooong time to feel really comfortable. I know in my former life as a NICU nurse it was a good two solid years before I felt like I knew what I was doing and felt comfortable caring for any baby on that unit no matter how sick. I guess it's the same in school. So many moving parts and things that come up unexpectedly.

I don't know if your state has a school nurse professional organization but here in Minnesota we do. The School Nurse Organization of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Education put on a 2 day sort of crash course in school nursing every August. I went before I was even officially hired in my district and it was overwhelming but very helpful.

Otherwise I've been leaning on these boards and other school nurses both in my district and others (3 of my friends recently left the NICU for school nursing too :up:) to give me advice. My school psychologist and social workers have been pretty good resources too.

Just some ideas.

Gosh, I didn't realize how lucky I have it. You nurses doing this on your own are amazing! My district has over 20 non-credentialed nurses and over 10 Credentialed School Nurses plus a supervisor. We are constantly e-mailing/calling each other and the supervisor is always a phone call away. Credentialed nurses leave detailed instructions for non-credentialed nurses regarding what has to be done when and the supervisor does her best help new nurses afloat.

FloridaBeagle

Specializes in Peds, Neuro, Orthopedics. Has 3 years experience.

Did you go to any official trainings when you started or was it just a "figure it out as you go" kind of thing?

We've got a year-long preceptorship. In the first few days, we have another school nurse with us full-time. Then they're available by phone for the rest of the year. We had a gradual taking over of responsibilities from our preceptor: first we tackled med orders and emergency plans, then training and delegating staff, then finally SPED screenings and report writings. We have monthly meetings with new staff only, with additional time at the end of the meeting to work on things we're struggling with.

I'm in a pretty great place. :)