School nursing is a complex and varied specialty that allows those who choose it to work independently. School nurses must be ready to respond safely and effectively to many health issues, including injuries, the management of acute and chronic diseases, and communicable disease outbreaks. In addition, school nurses must be able to provide education to faculty, staff members, students, and family members. Many times, the school nurse is the sole healthcare professional in a building, sometimes in a complete school district.
The Need for School Nurses
As medical care has advanced, children who would have died in infancy in the past are now growing up and attending public schools. These children require the presence of a skilled nurse to provide care. According to the National Association of School Nurses, school nursing is much more than treating minor wounds and taking temperatures. Modern school nurses manage a variety of ongoing medical conditions in students.
Are You Right for School Nursing?
Have you ever considered entering a position as a school nurse? If so, it is important to take the time to be sure that you are right for the job. Before changing to this career, ask yourself if you are confident working without the support of another healthcare provider and in making immediate, independent decisions regarding student care. Also consider if you enjoy working with children and a multitude of other people. Finally, decide if you are confident in your ability to provide education to students, teachers, parents, and others. While school nurses do not have to be certified as teachers, they do provide a great deal of health education regarding medical tasks and the proper response to student symptoms.
If you do decide to become a school nurse, it is helpful to get certified through the National Board for Certification of School Nurses. This will help ensure that you have the proper training and education to be effective in your job.
School nurses are a vital part of any educational setting and will only become more important as future generations of children enter the educational system with a variety of medical conditions. If you are considering becoming a school nurse, speak with others in the profession to get a true view of the job and to find out what you can do to be well-prepared for this new chapter in your life.