I think there are some misconceptions here that need to be addressed before you can really consider school nursing for being an "easier" nursing SPECIALTY (because that's what it is, a specialty). I think reading through the school nurse thread on AN will be very helpful to you, but also highly recommend substituting before even considering to apply to a full time position. I think you will be surprised how different it is than what you imagine it to be.
Let me break it down for you so you can see some real differences between school and hospital:
1.) The ratio between you and your patients is most likely 1:500. YOU, JUST YOU, ARE RESPONSIBLE for all of those little lives.
2.) We may not have a patient who has constant meds, Q2 turns, Q4 vitals, bladder scans, or I&Os to chart but we FREQUENTLY have 6-10 kids in our office at one time that all think they are the most important. And there are no call bells, just yells and crying, LOTS of crying. No other nurses to pop into room 32 for you. No aides to take those vitals.
3.) All kids come to school. You may see kiddos with diabetes, seizures, allergies, anxiety, bleeding disorders, cancer, asthmatics, CP, CF, and muscular dystrophy ALL IN THE SAME DAY. And you care for them, and you check up on them, and you chart their visits, and you make their care plans, and you talk to parents, and you discuss with doctors. You change diapers, you do tube feeds, you suction. You are the medical professional that sees them most days of the week. They are relying on you to keep them safe.
4.) When you step off the hospital floor, you know that patient you worked so hard with that day is being taken care of by a whole other TEAM of nurses, doctors, aides, and resource staff. When my kiddos leave me at 2:30, I worry. Weekends are the worst because I have a whole 48 hours to worry. Will they be fed? Do they really have an appointment at the urgent care for that cough? Are they going to come back to school with bruises?
5.) Teachers. The good and the bad. The ones that send you 13, yes 13, of their class of 22 all in one day because one student is out with a fever. Those 13 students add about an hour of your day because of assessments and charting. You now have no lunch (but, then again, when do you ever have a lunch?) Teachers take A LOT of time. Training them, because yes that's part of your 7 hours a day too. Convincing them they don't NEED to know everything medically going on with a child in their class. Reminding them I can't tell them everything because of HIPPA and FERPA, not that those acronyms mean anything to them.
6.) Parents. Also, the good and bad. The parents that want a call everytime their kiddo has a hangnail, or the parents that never pick up the phone, or never pack a lunch, or never show up at dismissal. Or there are also (and these are my favorite) the parents that ask you, "Are you even a real nurse, like how do I know you know what you are talking about?". Or the ones that question everything you say, and then sure enough an abx little Jimmy is taking for his strep comes to school (unlabeled) in a plastic bag that you knew he needed three days ago. You feel alone and unheard most of the time.
7.) There problems become your problems. The stories these kids have told me break my heart. I drive home crying. There are the kids that lost their parents. The kids who don't know when their next meal will be, or if they'll have electricity and heat when they get home. The kids that don't go home, but go to a homeless shelter. The psych! If you are going to be a school nurse you must be comfortable with you psych nursing. The amount of kids with GAD, OCD, PTSD, bipolar, and schizophrenia would probably shock you.
8.) Emergencies. It's on you. There are no doctors. No nurses. No code team. No meds at your disposal. It's you and your assessment skills. And PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY do not think for one second that emergencies do not happen at school. Allergies happen. Asthma attacks happen, and can be deadly. Injuries, boy do they happen. Just sent a kid via ambulance this week for obvious deformity of RUE after a fall from the playscape. This child needed 2 surgeries and 4 days in the hospital. I got him there. I made the 911 call. I splinted it. I iced it. I coordinated his ambulance ride to the RIGHT hospital for him. I advocated for him, as this child is nonverbal. And this week I'm revising his care plan for accommodations. And this is summer school. There were 22 kids here the day that happened. But you just never know and you always have to be ready. Kids lose lives from accidents that happen at school and aren't handled properly.
I'm sure I could think of 100 more things to say, but kiddos are showing up for summer school, so duty calls. About to go change a diaper, do a tube feed, take vitals, and assess a wound all in the same STUDENT I love my job!