School Nurse Certification and Training Programs

School nurses offer health services to children and young adults. Read on to learn more about education and training requirements, licensing and certification options and typical job duties. Schools offering Nursing & Public Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Do I Need Certification?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that all nurses need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses to obtain a national level license. Individual certification and licensing requirements vary by state, but to work as a nurse you must be nationally licensed. School nurse certification is available through the National Board for Certification of School Nurses (NBCSN), but it's voluntary.

The NBCSN certification consists of an examination that will help enhance your professional qualifications as a school nurse. The examination is offered twice a year and you must be an RN and also hold a bachelor's degree or higher. The NBCSN also requires that you have at least three full school years of work in a school setting or 4,000 hours of clinical practice in school nursing.

The state where you live may have a separate level of certification requirements aside from the national level, so you should research what's required of you in order to earn certification. For example, some states may sponsor their own training programs that result in a certificate, but this is different than nationally offered certification. Programs of this nature are generally offered only as a training tool to further educate you on the principles of school nursing.

Certification OptionsRequirements vary by state; exam given by the National Board for Certification of School Nurses
Education PrerequisitesBachelor of Science in Nursing
Program FormatOn campus or online
Job DutiesWellness programs, health records, supply management, immunization supervision

What Education Do I Need to Be a School Nurse?

In order to work as a school nurse, you're usually required to have a minimum of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Most schools prefer to hire registered nurses (RN) to work in school systems and there are schools that may even require a graduate level degree in order to be eligible for employment. After you have earned your degree, you'll be able to move around in the nursing field if you choose too and choose a specialty area to work in, such as becoming a school nurse.

Training for school nurses involves instruction on health issues that children and young adults face. These issues range from the common cold and flu, to teen pregnancy and mental illness. Psychology, sociology and human relations may also be addressed.

What Are My Online Options?

If you're seeking a BSN degree, distance learning programs are available at accredited colleges and universities. You can find both traditional BSN and BSN completion programs. The practicums should be completed locally. While technical requirements vary, you'll need at least a computer with Internet access to take online courses.

What Duties Could I Have?

A school nurse must be prepared to handle a wide variety of issues daily. You may be responsible for instituting wellness programs, lecturing on healthy living and preparing health plans for students with special needs. You may also be asked to maintain children's health records, manage medical supplies and supervise immunizations for incoming and returning school children.

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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