Inside School Nurse Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"Experience It All: Be A School Nurse...
Although nursing encompasses a multitude of services, school nursing covers many of these specialties. School nursing is not simply providing direct health care, but includes teaching, counseling, referrals, evaluating, and administrative duties. A school nurse never gets bored by repeating the same tasks over and over." (School Nurse; 2014)

Career: 30 years of experience, currently based in Virginia, female
School: Studied Communication And Nursing at Lynchburg College in Virginia; completed Bachelor degree in 1994

"Communication Skills Are Crucial...
I was surprise to learn how independent a nurse needed to be. You have to be confident, assured and strong in your dealings with patients, families and physicians. Excellent communication skills are crucial" (School Nurse/Community Mental Health Nurse; 2013)

Career: 30 years of experience, currently based in New York, female
School: Studied Nursing at State University Of New York At Plattsburgh in New York; completed Bachelor degree in 1974

Best & Worst Things About This Career

High School Nurse: "The best part is getting to know the students and to be there for them in any situation. To listen to their problems, to try and get help for them in communicating with teachers and to help them maintain their health is very rewarding. The worse part is being one person responsible for each & every bit of health information of the 1,600 students. To review, record & complete all mandates takes up a good portion of the job. Knowing you are responsible for the health and safety of over 1,600 people in a high school can be daunting, but the challenge is rewarding." (2011)

School Nurse: "The worst part of my job is being the only one in the building that can do my job. I am it. Some days can be so hectic that there is not enough time for even a short break. The best part of my job is working with students. The students really seem to appreciate me and what I do for them. It's a wonderful feeling to see the positive effect that I have had on some students. This is especially true of medically complex children. They often require treatments and special nursing care during the school day. If there were no school nurse, they wouldn't be able to attend school so easily. I have learned so much about young people and have so many wonderful memories of the time that I have spent with my students." (2011)

School Nurse: "The best part of my job is the children. I feel good knowing they know there is a place they can go if hurt or not feeling well and that I will take ownership of whatever it is and try to make things better. The worst part of my job is difficult parents and administration that does not value our work or regard us as professionals in the school setting." (2011)

Career Background

School Nurse

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Tips

"Communication Is Vital For School Nurses...
To be successful in school nursing, your specialty should be pediatric nursing and good communication skills are vital. A school nurse constantly communicates through written messages and reports, oral interviews and explanation, and personal attitude both in regard to the individual and the job." (School Nurse; 2014)

"Be Open To New Experiences...
Always be open to the uniqueness of each individual you encounter. Keep reading and learning to enlarge your areas of interest." (School Nurse/Community Mental Health Nurse; 2013)

"Lots Of Choice In Nursing...
To become a nurse you have many choices within this field. Being a nurse in a hospital setting is a must before venturing out into any other nursing area. Other areas can be in the private or public field, including being an educator. You must enjoy helping others. Keeping yourself up to date in your field of nursing is a must. You must be a responsible person. You deal with lives, not inanimate objects." (High School Nurse; 2011)

"Try Nurse Assisting First...
I would advise that one pursuing a career in nursing should go to a four year college setting and finish with a BSN from graduation. I would also advise any student considering a career in nursing to possibly work part time as a nurse's aide or volunteer in a hospital or medical center to test the waters regarding their ambitions. I would advise students to take lots of science courses in high school especially lab sciences, psychology, and human anatomy and physiology. Most of all, be a good listener and sharpen you people skills. Nursing is a hands on career and deals with all aspects of a patient's needs (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual)." (School Nurse; 2011)

"Value Children's Reports...
Remember that children or adults who are "hurting" (either physically or emotionally) are scared and need to feel that their reports of pain are valued. Work hard on skills of listening, questioning and observing. Be open to and respectful of people regardless of their age, lifestyle or place in society." (School Nurse; 2011)