School nurses work with children to provide non-emergency care in an educational setting. You can also work as a school nurse in a more adult setting by working at a college or university.
School nurses are trained to respond in case of an emergency, but your normal duties will be to help children who get sick during the school day. You’ll provide care such as taking temperature, recording vital signs, administering medications, doing simple routine check-ups, and providing dressing for wounds that don’t need more serious medical attention. You make also be tasked with administrative duties, such as keeping student records organized and calling parents when a child needs to go home. Some school nurses go on to work in a college setting, where you’ll deal with many of the same problems, but also offer advanced services and educate students who may be at risk.
Salary and Career Options
According to reports, school nurses make a wide range of salaries, from less than $20,000 annually for part-time workers to more than $75,000 annually. On average, school nurses make around $57,000 annually. Most schools explicitly hire nurses, not doctors, so outlook in this field is good. If you want to advance in your career, you can become an advanced practice nurse or consider getting an additional degree in counseling.
Most schools require you to have at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing, though some accept applications from all RNs, even those who just have an associate’s degree. In addition to having your license as an RN, to work as a school nurse, you need to be certified by the National Board for Certification of School Nurses, and some schools require you to have a master’s degree in the field.
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