School Nurse Salary

School nurses are entrusted with the care of children across the nation. This field provides routine care for children, but can also act as the first level of response in an emergency. Nurses who work in schools must have a familiarity with disease, the human growth process and appropriate treatment for this population.

school nurse salary

Job Description

Nurses working in the school system have a very specific group to work with. Students range in age, but each specific nurse has an age range to work within depending on the school: elementary, middle, or high school. 

When a child experiences an emergency, school nurses need to have a level head and be able to stay focused, regardless of circumstances. 

They must also be empathetic and be able to calm children down. Occasionally medications will be provided for certain children and must be administered very carefully. 

School nurses also provide precautionary treatment and immunizations, must be able to identify the early signs of more serious conditions, and monitor infection control in the school environment. To do this requires coordination with the entire educational team, including food service, coaches and teachers. All in all, the school nurse is responsible for the health of their school.

Educational Requirements

In order to become a school nurse, one must first become a Registered Nurse (RN). This can be obtained either through an Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. It is not uncommon for school nurses to obtain a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) in order to provide optimal care. Once the required educational components have been completed, the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) must be passed. State licensure requirements vary and should be followed to obtain legal status to work in the school system of your choice. Some states, though not many, require specialized certification in school nursing.

Continuing education can be pursued to provide higher quality care and to qualify for oversight positions. This includes managing nurses across schools, serving on an executive body to promote a healthy environment in the school system, or providing education to other nurses. Both master's and doctoral degrees are available with a specialty focus in providing healthcare to children in schools.

School Nurse Salary

Salary varies depending on degree held, state, institution and experience. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) can expect to earn $48,000 per year, not including benefits associated with working through the school system. RNs can expect to see an increase of a few thousand dollars a year, and have more of an opportunity for advancement and salary increase. MSNs serving in an executive leadership role can expect a salary of $95,000 a year. Experience and seniority working in a school district can provide increased pay and more familiarity with the clientele.

Learn more about nursing salaries such as pediatric nurse salaries.

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