Top 7 Benefits of Being a School Nurse
By Kris Lamey, contributor
School nurses help K-12 students while also attending to teachers and staff who fall ill at work. This job is more than handing out Band-Aids and giving lectures in health education. Today, school nurses monitor diabetic students, track vital statistics and provide counseling and recommendations on physical and mental well-being.
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7 Benefits of Working as a School Nurse
1. Competitive pay rates
The median salary for school nurses nationally is about $48,000 per year, and top earners can make over $60,000 annually.
2. Great schedule
School nurses have a standard workday, which is unusual in this field. Typically, you won't have to work nights or weekends, and you have summers off, which is a great benefit. You also won't have to work on common holidays and may get time off around those days during school breaks.
3. Filling an important need
When you become a school nurse, you fulfill a great need. In Vermont, for example, there is one school nurse for every 275 students; in Utah, the ratio is one to almost 5,000 students. The recommended rate is one per 750 students, but nearly every state needs more nurses to fill the gap.
4. Helping kids learn
School nurses influence student health and wellness by providing care and education. Healthy children learn better and can perform at their best. When school nursing jobs are adequately staffed, teachers can concentrate on the learning environment without worrying about health issues.
5. Less stress
Working at a school can be a less stressful environment than a hospital or private duty setting. If you have school-age children, you will be home with them more often.
Working with children provides a vibrant and varied workplace without the stress of a more structured staff job. You also have more time to care for individual patients and to make recommendations for their overall health. School nurses can monitor students over the course of years as opposed to just during hospital or doctor visits.
6. Recognized specialty
School nurse positions are recognized as a specialty nursing area that's now clearly defined with the development of standards of practice. Additionally, school nurses can further specialize by providing for kids with special needs, those in early childhood programs and either elementary or secondary age children.
7. Job growth expected
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth rate for nursing jobs is 16 percent through 2024. School nurse jobs come in a bit lower due to limited workplaces; however, applicants with a bachelor's in nursing and a state nursing license can compete for these jobs.
For an even better advantage, you can complete post-baccalaureate work to earn a professional school nurse credential.