Whether or not you are a dues-paying member of the Association, you are a member of the bargaining unit and already entitled to all the benefits in the teachers’ contract. I do recommend you join and pay dues, as the dues go toward supporting the work of the union (negotiations, grievances, union staff, etc.) that got you those benefits to begin with. If the school nurse is listed as recognized in the collective bargaining agreement, you get all those benefIts EVEN IF YOU DO NOT JOIN THE UNION AND PAY DUES.
If you haven’t already, get a copy of the collective bargaining agreement (HR or your union rep can get you this; some states even have the agreements available online). If you are not receiving all the work day benefits, such as a lunch period and planning periods, prep days at the beginning and end of the school year, etc. remind your principal that you are covered by the union contract and that these need to be supplied. If the principal balks, then contact the union—again, the union is required to assist you as you are a member of the bargaining unit.
My first two years at my school, I was not aware of what I was entitled to and never took lunch as I had no coverage for my office. Once I realized I was entitled to these things, I spoke with the principal who has since provided me with one hour per day of a CPR/ first aid trained paraeducator; she covers the office for first aid only for my 20-minute lunch. The remaining 40 minutes I spend catching up on paperwork while she handles recess first aid. I am still available for meds or crises, but she handles the run-of-the-mill skinned knees. The one hour per day is the deal we struck to provide me with the equivalent of the teachers’ lunch period and planning periods.
I have been a dues-paying Association member since my first year as I am pro-union as well, and I STRONGLY encourage you to join, but one way or the other, don’t be afraid to insist on the benefits you’re entitled to.