Looking to quit school nursing.


  • Specializes in Pediatrics, research, home care, infusio. Has 30 years experience.

I have only been a school nurse since February 2016 and already want to quit. It's at a K-8 charter school with mostly inner city kids. I am there 3 days a week and have no communication from administration. I have asked for a school calendar since day one and still don't have one! I was home ill on Monday. The principal messaged me at 9pm on Monday to tell me there was no school on Wednesday so I will need to work Tuesday Thursday Friday this week. Huh??? I have a life outside of my Monday Wednesday Friday schedule. This ticked me off. I have in the past made schedule adjustments with advance notice and with their approval, but this last minute text made me mad. And why is there a day off one week before school gets out!? Frustrated. Also, I am not getting much job satisfaction here at all. I have so many fakers (I know, they may just need attention) and I give each of them an assessment, but when I have a waiting room full of kids some with real illnesses or injuries, I get frustrated. So between no communication with admin and not a lot of real nursing to do, my job satisfaction is way down. How do each of you get satisfaction from your jobs? Not sure I want to go back in the fall. Plus the commute is terrible and the pay isn't very good either:/ Too many strikes. Sigh. I do love the kiddos, but...

RatherBHiking, BSN, RN

1 Article; 576 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Oncology, OB, School Nurse. Has 31 years experience.

School nursing is not for everyone. You tried it and if you're not happy then move on. There's no shame in that. I don't understand why it's so hard to get a school calendar. Is it not online or can the secretary not give you one? Were you hired for 3 days a week or only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays? Maybe the principal was expecting you 3 days or thought you would want to get 3 days in that week. It sounds like you're frustrated and that communication is lacking. Not all schools are ran efficiently. However there are fakers in all schools and that does get old. Once you learn the kids well and get to know them you can work through those issues with those particular kids but you haven't really had time. It does get easier once you've established relationships with both students and staff but school nursing isn't perfect and like every job it has it's downfalls. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Flare, ASN, BSN

5 Articles; 4,431 Posts

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

Yikes! After working in such a hot mess i'd want to run for the hills too! Even he most inner city school with the poorest population can have a well run school IF the administration is on the ball AND communication in good. Sounds like you got the double whammy of neither. It's unfortunate. If i were in your position, i would bow out gracefully and look for a different job and perhaps attempt school nursing in a different arena where you actually have a fighting chance at thriving. Then you will still have to contend with separating the fakers from the legit stuff - but when the other aggravating factors aren't looming and you can focus, you'll find it's a heck of a lot easier.


12,646 Posts

Has 25 years experience.

I'm sorry, Malty. It sounds like the lack of support and communication is bad.

Is there any way you can address this over the Summer?

If not, move on. No shame. Maybe try another school district to ascertain that it is school nursing you don't like, as opposed to the crappy situation you are in?

Good luck. If you move on, come back and visit us here!

bsyrn, ASN, RN

810 Posts

Specializes in Peds, School Nurse, clinical instructor. Has 24 years experience.

Not all schools are like that. I really enjoy mine. Try subbing at other schools to see what else is out there. :D


26 Posts

It is not for everyone! (I know because I learned this year it is definitely not for me). Although I learned a lot about school nursing and myself during this year of experience, it was a lot harder and more frustrating than I could've ever imagined. Perhaps a different school district would be better for you? It seems some districts are a lot more organized and have better communication than others.


217 Posts

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

Charter schools are a world of their own from what I hear. Is there a way you can transfer to a traditional public school before giving up entirely?

Specializes in School nursing.
Charter schools are a world of their own from what I hear. Is there a way you can transfer to a traditional public school before giving up entirely?

Charter schools are a world of their own; I work in one. I've also worked in a public school.

The charter school is way more work; I work a 9 hour day for not enough money. My boss is not a nurse so I have taken charge of my PD and learning skills and confidence to present health facts in a way the administration will understand and support. I get way more payoff for me. I feel like a part of the school here and while some kiddos and folks make you wanna :banghead:, a lot of them are appreciative and wonderful. I've been able to develop my own health curriculum with blessing from the upper folks.

But all charter schools are not equal and each can operate with their own rules. And if you are starting in a newer charter school, it is still finding its way, which is a way new kinda frustrating.

OP, this school may not be a good fit. Maybe school nursing isn't, but knowing the charter school environment like I do, I'd tell you to seek another placement and not given up just yet :).


19 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics, research, home care, infusio. Has 30 years experience.

There is an online link for a school calendar, but it's totally blank. Staff weren't even sure when the last day of school was!


19 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics, research, home care, infusio. Has 30 years experience.

Thank you for the heartfelt advice! I am working at a 6 weeks long summer camp much closer to my home for the summer. It's on a beautiful historic private school campus and I love it! The office is beautiful too with Windows that even open! Plus some cool old medical things around and an old fireplace to boot! A huge step up from my office in the coaches office in the boys locker room. It smelled like sewer gases most of the time, had huge cockroaches, and was stuffy.

I am am looking for another school nurse job because I love the kids so much. I don't mind inner city at all, just the drive I had.

We also did not have a medical director, so I couldn't apply neosporin, caladryl or anything to the kids. This was frustrating!

You Are all all correct in that I need to try another school before throwing in the towel on school nursing. Looking!!


19 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics, research, home care, infusio. Has 30 years experience.

I was scheduled for MWF but would adjust my schedule for school days off to be there days with her blessing.