New Grad, Job Options


As a new grad BSN RN, I am at a point of deciding what career path to take. Especially interested in hearing from public school nurses. Pay for public school nursing is substantially lower than some other options I've been presented with. However, I have the option of getting certification and this would allow for promotion and higher pay. I believe the job would be a good fit for me. Not so much bandages as 504s. I don't know what I don't know, though, so I am hoping others here may be able to share their perspectives.


199 Posts

Has 5 years experience.

There will naysayers who say a new grad should not be a school nurse and I understand why they say it-you work autonomously and you have to have killer assessment skills and confidence. I excelled as a new grad school nurse, but I had good support and I was also a former teacher, so I understand the education system. You mention 504's-nurses are not involved in all 504's nor ARD's, but when we are it's great to have a passion for it and be an advocate.

Another thing to consider if you sidestep the hospital route it's hard to get back in. That never bothered me because I never wanted to be a floor nurse. I prefer public health and this is the area I wanted to pursue. Some people live and die by getting "skills" and they feel they only get "skills" working in the hospital. All areas nursing have their unique skills; as a public health nurse we hone our assessment and education skills.

I wouldn't focus on what others say or think, follow your instincts and you'll be a great nurse. Great school nurses are needed. You not only serve the student's but the faculty. The faculty are who you need to worry about. I sent out three in an ambulance this year. Staff have died on our campus (prior to me) we've had detached fingers, broken limbs, major head injuries, diabetics, students with seizures, appendicitis, TB, knocked out teeth, congenital heart defects.... the list goes on. I wish it were ice and bandages. That is the misconception and I let it be-I have to be the calm in the storm and I love it.

Has 4 years experience.

Thank you so much for your reply! I believe the support is there. I also have four years of experience as a healthcare specialist from my time in the military. I got a good start on assessments and documentation there, and this is also where I developed a passion for advocacy. Soldiers sometimes don't take good care of themselves, and they are pushed heavily by those in the chain of command. As a medic, I was able to step in when needed.

Your perspective reinforces for me what instincts were already telling me. If anyone else may have thoughts on this, I would love to hear them.