School Nurse Day: How to Become a School Nurse

Last Updated on April 30, 2024

School Nurse Day: How to Become a School Nurse | CareerStaff

Happy National School Nurse Day from CareerStaff! The Wednesday of National Nurses Week is a time to celebrate one of the most important essential workers, the school nurse. Therefore, we’re marking the occasion with a closer look at these amazing nurses, plus a quick guide on how to become a school nurse.

What is School Nurse Day?

Since 1972, the Wednesday of Nurses Week has been designated as National School Nurse Day. The goal is to help folks better understand just what it means to be one, and how important these workers are. As awareness of School Nurse Day has grown over the years, so has the number of available jobs across the United States.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 82% of schools have at least one nurse on staff, part-time or full-time. Additionally, over 52% employ a full-time RN. That means more than half of all schools in the country are also nurse employers. And that number is steadily rising, too, among both public and private charter schools.

Don’t miss: 4 Benefits of Working as a School Nurse or Clinician

These jobs aren’t limited to specific regions. In fact, data shows that 84% of public schools in America’s towns and suburbs currently employ a nurse. Compared to 81% of city schools and 78% of country schools, that means about four out of every five schools in any given area could have nursing jobs to fill. If you’re looking to join this field, those are encouraging numbers!

Becoming a School Nurse

In addition to a positive career outlook, school nursing jobs also give RNs the chance to work in a standard, nine-to-five setting. It also offers the chance to build new relationships with different kinds of patients, as well as co-workers and community members.

Nurses who love to engage with communities and families can find exciting new ways to do so in the educational setting.

Where Can You Work?

As far as what to expect on a day-to-day basis, it starts with looking after the health of students as well as teachers and other staff members.

Of course, the exact nature of this work depends on the type of facility. Most jobs are in public or private schools, but there are also opportunities in other places like colleges, day care centers, military bases, and more.

Types of Tasks

For the most part, a school nurse is responsible for traditional clinical care. But it may also include other tasks, too. Organizing community programs, conducting screening campaigns, and training staff to carry out health requirements are some of the usual responsibilities.  

How to Become a School Nurse: Education & Licensing

a diagram with tips on how to become a school nurse, including necessary education and training, gainining experience in pediatric health, seeking mentorship opportunities, researching school guidelines, developing effective communication skills, and staying current with continuing education

So, what should you know about how to become a school nurse? The good news is that even nurses who are new to this setting can find plenty of jobs to choose from.

Traditionally, schools have preferred to hire RNs. But today, many of these jobs are open to LPNs and LVNs, too!

However, to qualify for the best jobs in this field, you’ll want to become an RN. The first step towards this is earning an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from an accredited school. Then, you’ll need to take the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to get licensed.

How to Become a School Nurse: Skills & Experience

Of course, the more hands-on experience you have with children, the better your school nursing job prospects will be. Focusing on pediatric care during the early years of your career is a great first step. It’s also a good idea to focus on skills in mental health, case management, leadership, critical thinking, and health assessment.

Pro Tip: Once you’ve developed these skills, include these on your school nursing resume!

Eventually, you’ll want to get enough experience for the Nationally Certified School Nurse (NSCN) credential. Also known as NBCSN certification, this may take a few years. But it will also open the door to many more opportunities. Getting other certifications like Basic Life Support (BLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) is also a good idea.

These certifications will be even more effective for nurses who also earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Although it’s rarely required, an MSN can help increase your job prospects and your earning power. Some nursing programs offer master’s programs with a specific focus on school nursing — check your local schools to see what’s available.

Become a School Nurse Now

Happy School School Nurse Day! If you’re looking for more than just info on how to become a school nurse, we can help. Here at CareerStaff, we’re always staffing school nursing jobs across the U.S.A.

Ready to make a difference? Get the ball rolling by filling out a quick application today, or explore our job search page below to see what’s available now.