What determines school nurse salary?

  1. While perusing ads for school nurses in my area...I found 2 for full-time, traditional schedule (summers off). What I found for the salary for both positions was a $20,000 range in lowest to highest salary, around $35k-$55k+. At the lowest salary, I couldn't afford to have that job. At the highest, it is just slightly lower than what I make at 2 jobs together, coupled with the schedule, that would be awesome! I know experience is part of the game, but what exactly are employers looking for to get that top salary??

    Thanks for reading!
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    About amberfnp

    Joined: Sep '07; Posts: 200; Likes: 60
    Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience in Plastic Surgery, ER


  3. by   Cindylufus
    I don't make nearly that. I have 1.5 years nursing experience and I have only been a school nurse 3 months. My salary is right around 42,000 with summers off. I do know some make a little bit more and if you have your masters I think you could hit the top figure you are looking at. You have to remember though it is public health and the pay is never that good..but the rewards are greater than the pay. Good luck!
  4. by   luvschoolnursing
    Don't know where you live but in PA, we follow the teacher's contract for pay. Starting in my district is about $33,000. Much lower than the hospital full time but if you like it, it's a great job.
  5. by   amberfnp
    Thanks for your responses. I did find a salary scale but I not sure if I am reading it right. On one area it is listed a professional position and on another it is educational support. Sounds like a great opportunity and I plan to look into it.

    **I live in southeastern/hampton roads VA
  6. by   michigooseBSN
    In my town nurses are on the teachers' pay scale and in the teachers' union. In my eighth year as a school nurse (after many as a med-surg nurse) I'm making over 65,000. Hard to beat considering the hours and vacations.
  7. by   amberfnp
    WOW! My in-laws live in MI. Maybe I should shack up with them!

    After further investigation, I still have no solid #'s to work with as far as salary but I found out a little more about benefits etc. Much of the benefits package looks typical for our area school systems, except this particular system doesn't offer short-term/long-term disability like the others. This is a big thing for me as we are trying to get pregnant and we really can't afford no income for 6+ weeks. I am looking into AFLAC prices just in case but if we get pregnant right away (or if I am already :wink2, I may not be covered as I think you have to be on the plan for 10 months prior to delivery. And I wouldn't qualify for FMLA leave.

    However, if I should get pregnant in June/July, I'd be ok and get 5-6 months off between FMLA and summer!

    The other kicker...
    In regards to vacation/personal/sick leave...it seems standard around here that for a 10 month contract, you don't get vacation because of the schedule and you get 12 sick days, 3 of which can be used as "personal" time. So...I wouldn't have any vacation to back up maternity leave during the school year, and I am going back to school in May for FNP. Clinicals won't start until fall of 2009, but I don't know what kind of hours I'll have to do yet.

    I should just stick with the job I have but I have been here 11 years and I am itching to do something different if I can afford it! This job would be great having with a school age child and a baby!
  8. by   EvelynRN-BSN
    That is the best salary I have seen. Do you have a Masters Degree?
  9. by   EvelynRN-BSN
    Quote from michigooseBSN
    In my town nurses are on the teachers' pay scale and in the teachers' union. In my eighth year as a school nurse (after many as a med-surg nurse) I'm making over 65,000. Hard to beat considering the hours and vacations.
    Opps posted wrong earlier.

    What did you start at? That seems to be the best salary I have seen thus far for school nursing. Also what degree do you hold?
  10. by   spee8936
    Does anyone know what the requirements are to be a school nurse?!
  11. by   luvschoolnursing
    You need to check with a school nurse in your state. It varies. Here in Pennsylvania, you need a BSN + School Nurse Certification-I think it was about 9 extra credits, maybe 12. You get certified through the department of education, then to be permanently certified you have to get and additional 24 credits within your first 5 years of working as a school nurse. Many of those credits can be obtained through your local Intermediate Unit at a much lower cost than a university. Then you need to get 180 Act 48 hours (like ceu's) every 5 years. I sounds like a lot, but it is the same as the teachers need, and we are considered professional staff, not support. It's well worth it.
    Last edit by luvschoolnursing on Jan 30, '09 : Reason: can't spell
  12. by   fracturenurse
    Quote from spee8936
    Does anyone know what the requirements are to be a school nurse?!
    In Texas it depends...Most districts require a BSN. The one I worked for had some left over LVN's from years past. I had my ADN, and so did a few others. Most nurses had their BSN. Nurses with their BSN made $48,000 starting out with no school nursing experience. Every year you made more... They had ADN nurse's on a different pay schedule, they did the same job and started out at $32,500. LVN's started out at $18,000, but they didn't have the same duties as the RN, and were supervised by a "traveling RN." It's a good job, but it's not as easy as people make it out to be, you do earn your money. I had 5 diabetics on pumps, 2 who were brittle and that was just part of my day. I ended up leaving when my husband was transferred, and went back to my first love, the OR. I'm glad I did it though. I will say that the ADN's being paid less did light a fire under me to get my BSN, I will graduate in a few months.
  13. by   upstateny
    My salary at the 9th step is only $34,000!!!! My hours are 7:30 - 3:45pm. The hours changed due to combining elementary and middle school together. I am in the middle of negotiating for the extra hour but the district's offer was very low. (less then minimum wage) I was a pediatric nurse for 5 years in a hospital. I would be making at least double that, if I was still in the hospital. The benefit to working in the school was the shorter day. My original hours were 8:45 - 3:30. The school day was extended last year a 1/2 hour without compensation yet. They can not keep nurses in the district.
  14. by   mustlovepoodles
    Wow! I need to move to where you guys are! Here in GA school nurses are paid about the same as the school attendance officer. That's right: about $25,000. That's for a nurse with many years of experience in the field, first year in a school. Is is any wonder that nurses come and go? There is a merit increase built in about every 12 months, but it's not much. There is NO negotiating salary--take it or leave it. The benefits are good though, same as the teachers. BUt it really rips my shorts that I have just as much education and more experience than most of hte teachers in my school and I get paid half (or I should say, i DID get paid half--I quit in June and it actually hasn't made that much impact on my household income. I may never go back!)