Need some guidance for my certification!

Specialties School


Hi fellow school nurses!

I am a recent certified school nurse, and I just got hired at a special needs school. I am beyond excited.

Here is my background:

Active RN with a NON NURSING Bachelors degree

Certified School Nurse

I do NOT have my BSN (yet) because I wanted to wait to get hired at a place that would help pay for my education (I've been a nurse for almost 9 years, but my current employer wouldn't pay for school)

So my question is: what is the best way to get BSN / MSN ONLINE as quick as possible with as little clinical time as possible? I have three kids and a husband who works shift work, so it's really hard for me to fit in clinical hours. I am looking into Chamberlain which seems a god option, I will get my BSN and MSN upon completion.

I understand as School nurses we need to get a MSN or a Masters to make our certification "permanent"; would getting my MSN in, say, Informatics satisfy this? What did the rest of you guys do to make your certification permanent? Which school did you go to to get your BSN and or MSN?

Id appreciate ANY and ALL advice from you wonderful school nurses! THANK YOU!

I would be concerned with "as quick as possible with as little clinical time as possible". School nursing is very independent and really requires one have sharp assessment skills and feel confident in making quick decisions without help or back-up. I would be concerned that a program that offers a quick diploma with little clinical time is not going to set you up for success as a school nurse.

How many years have you been practicing as a RN with a pediatric population or within a setting where you are doing triage? That background might be very helpful- you didn't mention in what area you were practicing. If you already have several years with relevant experience under your belt, then I would just try to find a quality program that offers clinical experience in a school setting, community health, pediatrics, ER, etc.

Much of the certification process depends on the state in which you plan to practice. I am in MA, and we have the most stringent regulations for school nursing in the country. I am a PNP with MSN, and have my RN and BSN from a four year university, and STILL had to work for at least two years FT in pediatrics, community health, or similar, just to get my initial school nurse certification, as well as attend numerous mandated trainings. I am not eligible to get my "professional" license until I finish this school year. The National Certification Exam requires at least two years of full time work as a school nurse.

I would look into your states regulations and follow the path that gives you the best exposure to relevant experience. Good luck.

Thank you for your info! it seems you absolutely do have more stringent policies in your state. I am in PA. You take four masters level courses to get certified, along with 100 hours clinical experience which I did in elementary, special ed, highschoool and middle school, and a certification is what most schools are looking for (they do prefer a BSN as well). Then at some point you have to get a Masters degree to make it a "permanent" certification, or do a ton of CEU's to keep it active. Most of the Certified School Nurses I know do NOT have their MSN, they got a Masters in things like school health services, etc. I have been working triage and home care for all different populations for almost 9 years.

Are there any PA school nurses out there who have any insight? I didn't know if differed state to state so much !

Here is a link for certification requirements for PA. Are you emergency certified? Because I thought you had to have taken a PA Dept. of Ed. approved school nurse course prior to becoming a CSN?

Bad Request

Specializes in School Nursing.

PA Nurse over here!

I did CSN via the Graduate Course route, so I already I had my BSN.

I did my BSN at Ohio University in 1 year with a hefty schedule, Clinical was presenting research on changes that could be made to your current practice, I did a very involved presentation/paper on Concussions in School Setting - head injuries at school, at home, and return to school programs.

My CSN was the standard requirement for PA - 100 clinical hours dispersed over the demographics.

The CSN courses are 1/2 of a Masters in Education in most universities. I put that on "hold" right now to do my MSN in Nurse Education at a different university and then I'll do the M.Ed once I'm done. This is so if I decide to change careers due to life events I am not limited by the "Education" part of grad school and still have a Graduate level Nursing degree.

Having 2 Masters will secure solid Horizontal movement across the pay scale, since CSNs are on the Teacher contract in regards to pay.

I assume your Special Ed school is non-public, so the rules/benefits may be different.

I am fully certified, I got my Certification at Eastern University. They used to require that you have a BSN, but now they just want to see a Bachelors degree. However, I am finding employers still want to see that BSN, but I was still hired without it. I hope to get both my BSN and MSN online with tuition assistance. I think Chamberlain is the best fit right now , but we will see.

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

i've been humming and hawwing about getting a graduate degree for some time now. I think i'm finally ready to do it. I am not necessarily planning on getting a msn. One of the schools on my short list while i was scouting was Aspen though or possibly western governor's u.

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