New School Nurse - Advice Please :)

Specialties School


Specializes in School Nurse.

Hello fellow nurses!! I just accepted a job as a school nurse for an elementary school. I subbed for this school the last 30 days of the school year & the previous nurse was there forever!! The office is so full of stuff & despritly needs to be reorganized & cleaned out. Her medication distribution was out of plastic baggies and I would like a new method. I have tried to find some web sites, but have failed to find one for organizing a school nurse office. Can anyone recommend one or tell me your method. Also any advice you can give me for my first year would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you bunches!!!

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

How big is the school?

Mine is K-8. Medication are separated into PRNs and daily meds. Everything must be in a labeled contained with the original pharmacy sticker or in the case of OTCs, clearly marked with a Sharpie. The PRNs are sorted alphabetically into different boxes and kept in a locked cabinet, dailies are also kept in the locked cabinet, but in their own box. Epipens get kept in an unlocked cabinet labeled with student names, stock epipens are kept there too.

Specializes in kids.

nh statelaw requires orig. pharm. containers (the pharmacy’s are really good aboutproviding them) i keep my daily’s in the top drawer, of my med cart separatedin plastic containers (dollar store) for each kid. in another drawer, i haveprn's again in separate plastic containers and i keep otc in a lower largerdrawer. for daily’s and short term meds or unusual prns, i keep on top of thecart a binder with the signed permission form from the parent and physician, alongwith a print out about the med(s). i also have in a large binder all myemergency treatment form which incorporates my otc approval (we only needwritten parent perm in nh) epi and mdi'sare accessible in my emergency treatment bag which has several small threedrawer containers to keep thing separate for each kid. in the drawers i alsokeep another copy of the emergency treatment form.....and that is just themeds......good luck in your new job!

Specializes in School Nurse.

The school is not that big K-5th, but there are quite a few students who take meds. Right now I have the PRN's & dailys on separate shelves in plastic bags. I'm aware of the label/container laws. I just feel that the plastic bags the previous nurse used would always be disorganized & out of alphabetical order. So I'm trying to figure out a new system. the office is such a mess right now...registration is a couple weeks away so I'm hoping to have it in order by then. I'm nervous about all the paper work as I've never done any of the beginning of the year stuff!!

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

The bins that i use aren't perfectly alpha order, but it at least breaks it down. My m/n bin was over flowing last year! I seriously thoughrt about subletting space in the w/x/y/z bin! I find that as long as my dailies are organized, i'm good (and lets face it, the dailies are not too bad - i think my highest in the last few years was 3 or 4 kids. I like to have my diabetics keep their stuff in separate little plastic boxes. That seems to work well for them.

You'll find a method that works for you.

One idea that you may or may not like:

Plastic pouches that you can secure and put orders directly on


A colleague of mine swears by them. 61702fl_lg.jpg

SafetySack Medication Pouch, EpiPen

1st let me say congrats on your new job! I just started last year and certainly the 1st year is a roller coaster but I loved it! Post here often there is lots of good advice and helpful hints. For me, going through all of the old stuff in the office and purging a lot of the really ancient stuff did a lot for me. I feel like my first year I did things the way the old nurse did it with a little tweaking of my own but next year I am fully ready to set things up the way I want. It took me some time to figure out what I use most, where things are easily accessible in my office and what things could be in the back of my cabinets. Give your self some time to get a feel for your office and move things as you see a need. The 1st year will be a lot of adjusting (I couldn't believe the paperwork) and learning (I had never been involved with IEPs or 504s before). Have a great 1st year and don't be afraid to NOT do things the way the last nurse did. You will find your own groove.

Specializes in School Nurse.

Thank you so much for your encouragement!! Hopefully I'll find a groove & get into the swing of things a couple weeks in :). I went shopping for a few things yesterday. They are repainting my office next week, then I can get in there & organize!!

Specializes in kids.

If you have a lot, one way to separate is to keep the (properly labeled) bottles in zip loc bagges with a seal, and then staple the bag to a strong piece of card stock cut in half. You can attach a label to each card (I have seen pieces that are approx 4 x 6) and stood up so they are 4 inches wide and 6 inches tall. Then they can be put in alphabetical order or in order of when the meds are due. We do this at the LTC facility for creams and ointments as htey need to be in a separate ara from the the PO meds. They are in the bottom drawer of the cart and fit into a plastic container to help corral them. Good Luck!

Specializes in National Certified School Nurse.

Refer to NASN National Association of School Nurses at

or check out this book p1210... School Nursing 2nd edition by Janice Selekman

Good Luck

Specializes in School Nurse.

I got a whole bunch of "gladware" or the like plastic bins. I put the kids names on them and stack them up in a cabinet in my office. These are big enough to hold multiple med bottles, inhalers, diabetic supplies etc...

Specializes in School Nurse.

Whatever system you choose, be consistent. Consistent in where you put the students name & grade. All of my gallon Ziplocs have student name on the right upper corner. I have a label with student name, grade, med name, dose, time, frequency, remarks. Label page has 10 labels/page.


Congrats on the new position. One method I have seen and would use myself if my file drawers locked would be this... in a file drawer cabinet, place meds in a zip lock bag include a copy of the orders and student contact sheet and place within a pendaflex hanging folder. One folder for each student. label in ABC order for all PRNs. dailies are kept in top drawer or another locked cabinet. Ziplock bags are helpful for when you need to pull meds for field trips. Hopefully you can picture what I am trying to describe.

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