Whenever kids become injured or start to feel unwell at school, they turn to the school nurse to help them feel better. Whether you’ve completed a practical nursing program or a registered nursing program, working as a school nurse can be rewarding if you want to combine your passions for health care and love of kids. Many children have to deal with more challenging conditions than minor scrapes and bruises – there’s been an increase in the number of cases of allergies, asthma and mental health disorders among students in the United States,1 so school nurses play a more vital role now than ever before.
What education do you need?
While the education requirements for being a school nurse may vary, in general they are expected to have earned a nursing degree. If you plan on becoming a registered nurse, you will also need to become certified by taking the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX).2
Where do school nurses work?
As you may have guessed, school nurses work in schools. However, the type of schools in which they work can vary considerably. While they all are employed in academic environments, they can work for elementary, middle or high schools, and for public or private institutions. As you begin your nursing career, consider which environment would be the best fit for you.3
How much do school nurses make?
The salary of school nurses depends on a variety of factors, including whether you are an RN or LPN/LVN, and whether you work for an elementary or secondary school or have chosen to apply your skills at a college professionals schools. Registered nurses working for K-12 schools earn, on average, $63,220 per year. Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, however, earn a mean salary of $36,370.4
1 Lane, Marcia, The St. Augustine Record, ‘Introducing the new school nurses,’ July 14, 2013 – http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2013-07-14#.UeQzC0E4tS5
2 Education Portal, ‘School Nurse: Occupational Outlook and Career Profile,’ 2013 – http://education-portal.com/articles/School_Nurse_Occupational_Outlook_and_Career_Profile.html
3 National Association of School Nurses, ‘Role & Career,’ 2010 – http://nasn.org/RoleCareer
4 Locsin, Aurelio, The Houston Chronicle, ‘How Much Does a School Nurse Earn Per Year?’ 2012 – http://work.chron.com/much-school-nurse-earn-per-year-3852.html