What Courses Do I Need to Take to Become a School Nurse?

School nurses help maintain the health and welfare of children in school settings. As a school nurse, you are responsible for developing a health program, administering medications, providing health counseling, and training health assistants. Read on to explore the education you need to become a school nurse. Schools offering Nursing & Public Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Courses Needed to Become a School Nurse

A degree in nursing is the first step toward a career as a school nurse. Required courses such as anatomy, microbiology and chemistry provide a foundation in the field, while many upper-level courses focus more on health and patient care. Management courses in leadership may be helpful when working with school administrators, students and parents. Both associate's and bachelor's degrees in nursing can lead to licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN).

Important Facts about Becoming a School Nurse

Required Education Associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing
Certification/Licensure Licensure is required in all states to become an RN; certification necessary to become a school nurse varies by state
Key Skills Compassion, excellent organization, ability to communicate effectively and work with teachers and other non-medical professionals
Online Availability Associate's and bachelor's degree programs, as well as 2-year RN to BSN programs for those seeking a bachelor's degree who are already registered nurses available online


An introductory course in nursing will help you understand the concepts and theories in a professional nursing curriculum. You will learn how today's nursing problems can be looked at in an historical context. Diverse issues that influence health, illness, and treatment options are also explored. There is an emphasis on the code of ethics and practice which all nurses must adhere to, along with a focus on the initial development of standard nursing procedures in diagnosis and intervention.

Health assessment courses, even if it covers the entire lifespan, can help you learn how to investigate symptoms in children. Nutrition courses teach you to understand the needs of children and determine when those needs aren't being met. Community health nursing focuses on health assessment and teaches you how to plan and implement health initiatives at the group level.


Professional organizations like the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) and National Board of Certification for School Nurses (NCSN) offer national certification exams. Certification and licensing exams are required in most states, so you should check with an NASN affiliate or state school nurse consultant to find where these exams are administered. The NASN website has an online tutorial and handbook available, and the NCSN can help direct you toward a study group, workshop, or seminar in order to prepare for the certification exam.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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