“We do just about everything. In a typical day, I’m coordinating sports physical; I might instruct a first grader on hygiene, and then help a student with anxiety issues at the high school. School nursing is way more than band-aids and ice packs. We’re first responders to any sort of issue that happens on buses or outside a school.
It’s also working with parents to coordinate medical care. For example, rashes. If a student comes in with a rash, it may need clearance from a doctor before we can get that student back to school. So we’re doing everything we can to get that student back in the classroom as quickly as possible. In all, it’s serving the whole student, and making sure students aren’t missing time from the classroom.” - dailynurse.com
School nurses are qualified and registered nurses or midwives, many of who have chosen to gain additional experience, training and qualifications to become specialist community public health nurses (SCPHN - SN). Their additional training in public health helps them to support children and young people in making healthy lifestyle choices, enabling them to reach their full potential and enjoy life.
School nurses work across education and health, providing a link between school, home, and the community. Their aim is to improve the health and well-being of children and young people. They work with families and young people from five to nineteen and are usually linked to a school or group of schools.
School Nurse Lifestyle
The school nurse’s day-to-day role varies a lot from area to area and depending on the type of school. Typically, this includes: carrying out health assessments, home visits to families in need, providing health education, advice, and signposts to other sources of information, providing such as healthy eating advice, stop smoking programs, safeguarding and service coordination.
They also recommend on common childhood conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and eczema, working closely with general practitioners, health visitors and other health and social care staff. They may be based in a school, a GP surgery or a health center and may work as part of a wider team of senior school nurses, community staff nurses and nursery nurses.
Materials For School Nurses
School nurses are responsible for providing a variety of materials for schools. Nurses may have to obtain supplies for room and staff and coordinate training, initiate and direct health fairs in the schools to further, and or obtaining clothing for children in need.
For their own working benefit school, nurses will need uniform scrubs, the best fit for the school facility being worked in. They may also need manuals and materials for SETT or School Emergency Triage Training, which is training that provides school nurses with the knowledge, skills, and resources to perform as leaders of first-aid teams in response to mass casualty events occurring in schools.
There are responsibilities steaming far beyond checking a student's temperature. Nurses are responsible for giving medications at various times of the day being sure all forms are currently filled out. Other responsibilities include but aren't limited to: evaluating and caring for the children that come into the office as well as notifying parents of concerns.
Assisting staff with their medical concerns. Screening children for their vision and hearing, and some for scoliosis and refer children to a specialist if there are problems. Doing state-mandated TB testing and report to the state. Monitoring all immunizations and be sure all students are in compliance and report it to the state.
Entering health information into the computer into two separate programs: one for daily concerns and one for specific problems associated with that child's direct medical aspect of Earthquake preparedness.
Initiating and directing health fairs in the schools to further the students understanding of how to best care for themselves. Providing a caring environment for children that are ill and provide opportunities for children to learn with books and information in the room.
Checking heads for head lice if it is in the school. Writing information for the school newsletter possibly once a month, and Maintaining a bulletin board with health information on it, reporting monthly to supervisor regarding all activities a month and attending professional meetings with other nurses or staff.
School Nurse Education
Although individuals may become licensed registered nurses with an associate's degree, the minimum education requirement for certification as a school nurse is a bachelor's degree. Certified school nurses are registered nurses (RNs) who have been certified by the National Board for Certification of School Nurses (NBCSN). Certified school nurses are required to renew their certification to show that they've kept current with new practices, medications, and other developments in the field. According to the NBCSN, 75, continuing education units must be earned every five years. Coursework is subject to approval by the NBCSN and must be listed on the application for recertification.
School nurses must have a bachelor's degree, an RN license, and a voluntary certification through the NBCSN. They are also required to renew their certification and continue their education throughout their career.