LPN School Nurse Interview

Posted

Specializes in LPN. Has 5 years experience.

Hi all,

I'm a new grad LPN and have a video interview with the superintendent at one of the high schools. 

Any  tips for the interview in terms of questions they might ask? 

If the salary question pops up, how do you negotiate a salary for a new grad LPN as a school nurse? (What is the typical salary in this field for a newbie in the Chicago suburbs?) 

 

Thanks! 

ruby_jane, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing. Has 13 years experience. 3,141 Posts

Welcome! If you'll put your specific questions in the keyword/search bar, you'll likely find all the answers to the "what will they ask in the interview?"

Regarding salary - that never pops up at this level; it is likely that this is public information. If you will go to the HR site of the district there should be a way to get the salary info. If you can't see it, call the HR folks. Be advised that you will not be getting current market rate at a school position because your salary is based on a contract (mine is 187 days) but you spread out the wages over 365 days. I worked it out to we are paid for about 35 weeks but the salary is apportioned over the 52 weeks of the year. 

In other words, if you look at salary by hour and length of contract it's possible that a new LVN would (at my district) be making about $25. However when you look at the reality of the total year, the salary actually works out to about $15. This is in North Texas - your results may vary.

Finally - and I mean this with love - is this what you want to do with the rest of your nursing career? Because we don't advise new RNs to start here. You need a year (or more) of "nursing judgment" and that only comes with experience. If you're planning to bridge to RN within a year or two it may be fine for you. If you never plan to do that, you may find yourself locked into ambulatory care with no critical care experience. Again - nothing wrong with that, just my thoughts.

Good luck!

NutmeggeRN, BSN

Specializes in kids. Has 25 years experience. 8 Articles; 4,411 Posts

I have to agree with ruby...this is an extremely challenging job an any given day. And I have been doing this 27 years...think long and hard about what role you will be undertaking.

Are you alone? Is there another nurse in the building fulltime?

Who will support you and help with your clinical decision making

Under someone else's (RN) license?

Are you aware of all the nurse practice rules in your state? re delegation, medication administration, diabetic care management?

You did not indicate what your healthcare experience is.

WIshing you the best in your career.

jakrob123

Specializes in LPN. Has 5 years experience. 41 Posts

3 hours ago, ruby_jane said:

Welcome! If you'll put your specific questions in the keyword/search bar, you'll likely find all the answers to the "what will they ask in the interview?"

Regarding salary - that never pops up at this level; it is likely that this is public information. If you will go to the HR site of the district there should be a way to get the salary info. If you can't see it, call the HR folks. Be advised that you will not be getting current market rate at a school position because your salary is based on a contract (mine is 187 days) but you spread out the wages over 365 days. I worked it out to we are paid for about 35 weeks but the salary is apportioned over the 52 weeks of the year. 

In other words, if you look at salary by hour and length of contract it's possible that a new LVN would (at my district) be making about $25. However when you look at the reality of the total year, the salary actually works out to about $15. This is in North Texas - your results may vary.

Finally - and I mean this with love - is this what you want to do with the rest of your nursing career? Because we don't advise new RNs to start here. You need a year (or more) of "nursing judgment" and that only comes with experience. If you're planning to bridge to RN within a year or two it may be fine for you. If you never plan to do that, you may find yourself locked into ambulatory care with no critical care experience. Again - nothing wrong with that, just my thoughts.

Good luck!

Thank you! I intend on picking up this as a full time job and working once a week, school breaks, and summers at a skilled facility near me! Thank you so much for the input! 

2 hours ago, NutmeggeRN said:

I have to agree with ruby...this is an extremely challenging job an any given day. And I have been doing this 27 years...think long and hard about what role you will be undertaking.

Are you alone? Is there another nurse in the building fulltime?

Who will support you and help with your clinical decision making

Under someone else's (RN) license?

Are you aware of all the nurse practice rules in your state? re delegation, medication administration, diabetic care management?

You did not indicate what your healthcare experience is.

WIshing you the best in your career.

Sorry for the vagueness! I will be working closely with the certified school nurse!

NutmeggeRN, BSN

Specializes in kids. Has 25 years experience. 8 Articles; 4,411 Posts

Well thats makes a difference! You should learn a lot!  Good luck to you! HS kids are awesome!!

ruby_jane, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing. Has 13 years experience. 3,141 Posts

@jakrob123 you have obviously thought this through. Best of luck! Let us know how it goes. High school kids are indeed awesome. They roll their eyes at you and they've already googled their symptoms (no sweet pea, this is not a kidney infection. You need to drink more water). BUT you will be able to have real teachable moments with them.

jakrob123

Specializes in LPN. Has 5 years experience. 41 Posts

@ruby_jane and @NutmeggeRN thank you guys! The superintendent offered me the position! I will be getting back to him with my response tomorrow since they are having a board meeting tonight when the students will officially be returning (either the third week or fourth week of January!) 

 He said he would throw in my contract that I could get my scrubs paid for! I'm guessing this would probably be like reimbursement but I'll check! Do you think that the budget for these scrubs will be limited or I can just get 100% of my money back regardless of which brand of scrubs I get? 

JenTheSchoolRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in School nursing. 3,011 Posts

On 1/5/2021 at 2:27 PM, jakrob123 said:

Thank you! I intend on picking up this as a full time job and working once a week, school breaks, and summers at a skilled facility near me! Thank you so much for the input! 

Sorry for the vagueness! I will be working closely with the certified school nurse!

That is huge that you are working with a certified school nurse. I hired a LPN to work with me this year and I love them! They are so useful for me as I took on higher level tasks as my school's COVID liaison (which includes organizing, running/overseeing our weekly on site COVID testing program) and I've been slowly teaching them as we ramp up and add some more students into the fold. 

I was a rarity - a new grad RN that went straight into school nursing.

But I was also a second degree RN with a previous background in education administration that knew the moment I entered nursing school I wanted to work in preventive medicine (though I actually at first wanted to work with the older population and during my pedi rotation found my footing with adolescents and my clinical instructor told me she knew I'd end up working with them; she was actually a reference for me to land my full time school nursing gig). Since I worked in education previously, I also was familiar with the salary structure and knew from the start that school nursing didn't pay the big bucks ;).

I landed a long term sub gig first working in a very large school that employed 2 RNs in the school nursing office. The other RN took me under her wing and basically was like the best preceptor ever and gave me the foundation to fly solo and apply for full time gigs. School nurses don't get this at all usually, so you working directly with a RN is a bonus here in this job. Good luck!

 

ruby_jane, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing. Has 13 years experience. 3,141 Posts

20 hours ago, jakrob123 said:

 

 He said he would throw in my contract that I could get my scrubs paid for! I'm guessing this would probably be like reimbursement but I'll check! Do you think that the budget for these scrubs will be limited or I can just get 100% of my money back regardless of which brand of scrubs I get? 

That's a PERK! So not having that perk I would imagine that it's in the form of a stipend (like, you will get $200 or something). But you should clarify if it's a lump sum or reimbursement.

Nurse Trini

Specializes in LPN School Nurse. Has 5 years experience. 59 Posts

Welcome to the profession.   Nice to see I'm not the only LPN here.

T-ROD, LPN

Specializes in Pediatric. Has 16 years experience. 101 Posts

So I am curious how you are liking it so far??

 

jakrob123

Specializes in LPN. Has 5 years experience. 41 Posts

@T-ROD I'm loving it so far! I'm learning so many things and I'm glad I didn't start off in bedside. I'm happy that I went straight for it and honestly it all makes the difference! These teachers and staff are so appreciative and willing to go above and beyond to help me become comfortable!