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Please tell me it gets better...


Specializes in School Nursing. Has 8 years experience.

I had a 2 hour conversation with our lead district nurse yesterday and now I'm wondering if I should stick it out for at least one more school year. She told me how awful her first 2 1/2 years of school nursing were but now this is her 6th year and she said it does get better and it gets fun.

I'd love to hear some more of your experiences that will reassure me that it does get better. I feel like maybe one school year isn't a fair chance to determine if I should stay or go.


Specializes in School Nurse. Has 6 years experience.

One year is very hard to judge if you like school nursing or not. Either you are coming to a school that had no school nurse, or the previous nurse had "their own" way of doing things, and the teachers/admin are used to that way. You have to establish "your own" way of operating the clinic, establish your own rules, and be consistent with them. Sending a letter (like you posted in another thread) informing teachers of what warrants an office visit, address individually with teachers who are the worst offenders, and if that does not resolve high numbers of office visits, take it to administration. School Nursing is definitely a different type of nursing, it can be frustrating, but it definitely has its perks. Only you can decide if it is what you want.


Specializes in Pediatrics Retired.

I've "gone back" to a couple of jobs over my lifetime. Both times were mistakes. School nursing is like no other nursing job. You'll never have the autonomy, freedom, (yes responsibility), and time off as you have in school nursing. Of course it isn't for everyone but if you're having second thoughts about leaving I sure would advise you to give it another year.

NurseBeans, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in school/military/OR/home health. Has 19 years experience.

What they said^^

I started mid-year my first year, on a temporary contract. I swore all spring I was never coming back to this school again, and I was going right back to my beloved OR. I had to re-apply and re-interview for the following school year and found myself hoping they would keep me on.

I think once I established my own way of doing things and everyone was used to me, it got way better. Once I threw out all the crap and clutter from the last three nurses, it got better. And a part of me has to admit, I thought school nursing was way less complex than it actually is. I really felt like I was giving up by becoming a school nurse. Like I was leaving "real" nursing. I had to get over that way of thinking.

I think you might want to reconsider; but only you know. Find yourself a cause within the school nursing realm that you want to champion. Make that your driving force (like, I am going to make my school fully disaster-ready if it's the last thing I do).

I don't know. This is my third school year and there are some days still I'd like to walk out and never come back. They get fewer and further between.


Specializes in School Nursing, Hospice,Med-Surg. Has 18 years experience.

I HATED my first year and was ready to leave by Christmas break. It sounds silly but while I was really struggling with the decision about whether to leave I got a fortune cookie with the message, "It's not the end yet. Let's stay with it."

I literally went in on Monday & stuck it to my bulletin board. 2 years later, it's still there & so am I. It got so good at one point that I would have paid the school to come into work. I absolutely adored coming in. I'm at a low point again but it's strictly because of a leadership change and I feel confident that we have the potential to have that happy again if the right principal is hired this spring. I'm literally just hanging in to see if that happens.

I say all that to point out that you will find your groove and eventually even fall in love with your kiddos and feel like they're your own.


Has 5 years experience.

Every. Single. Job. will have good days and bad. With this job, you can console yourself with 2-3 months off in the summer.

MrNurse(x2), ADN

Specializes in IMC, school nursing. Has 28 years experience.

Only you know you. Had you told me almost three decades ago I would love school nursing, well :roflmao:. Fast forward and I would truly do this as a volunteer, I really love it that much. Now it is all I can do to stay out of hospitals. Maybe you are not in the right season of your life or maybe it isn't your thing. Most here have found their niche,but that doesn't mean you have to feel the same. I developed this position and that made it easy to "fit" since I made the cut out to fit me, but it may have been a different animal if I had to conform to public where there are 504's and less than involved parents. Good luck trying to figure it out. We can give you support, but I think all this talk leads to where your heart feels at home.

Blue_Moon, BSN, RN

Has 18 years experience.

I've left school nursing 3x's and returned. The grass is never greener. However, I was constantly being changed around every year or two to different schools so it was hard to feel part of anywhere. For the first time I've been lucky enough to be at the same school 3 yrs in a row and for the first time I finally feel at home somewhere. It looks like I'll be able to stay the next few years at least so I'm glad. So yes it gets better with time. It takes time to switch roles and feel comfortable. It takes time but I've found it's worth it!

scuba nurse, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing, Pediatrics. Has 31 years experience.

As someone else said, every job has good and bad. But ask yourself some questions: do you like the school you are in? Do you like the age group? Can you relate to these kids? Do you get along with the staff? Do you feel part of "their" group? Are you valued as the school nurse there? It may take one or 2 schools and a few years at a school to feel part of that community. It takes time. Hang in there.

JenTheSchoolRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in School nursing.

The first year is the hardest one. I'm in year 4 and I can't imagine being anywhere else. The trust I gained from staff working here happened after that first year was huge - sorta like a test to prove I had staying power and could stand my own.

I am on my 5th year and my worst. I used to love my job. The kids and parents are getting worse every year. Every day I want to leave, but I am scared I will regret it. You can't beat the hours and time off. I am sick of lice and parents who want to complain about everything.

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

Every single job has its growing pains. Even going to a new district has its growing pains. I have been at a few schools for various reasons- one closed, got placed into one, better commute into one, better pay. And I can tell you that even coming in as seasoned, you will be tested, pushed, aggravated, abused, used and disrespected -mostly by parents, occasionally by some staff -i find that some didn't even realize there was a new nurse - how sad. You will hear "The last nurse used to..." countless times. Yep, well, there's a new sheriff in town, and I don't play the same games.