As a minimum, a School Nurse must be a Registered Nurse first and many employers would look for experience in this area in the application to become a School Nurse.
The experience they would be looking for can include working with children, working in the community as a Registered Nurse or working in a health promotion clinic. To become a qualified Registered Nurse, you will need a degree in nursing. You must also be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Individual universities will set their own requirements in academic qualifications to get a place on a degree course; however it is possible to study nursing part time with experience of working in a clinical support role without school qualifications.
It will also be beneficial for a School Nurse to have knowledge in the areas of health promotion, child protection, family planning, education and screening.
Related: School Nurse Cover Letter
A School Nurse carries out duties within a school environment such as family planning and sex education lessons, screenings, health interviews and immunisation programmes. School Nurses can be employed directly by schools or by the NHS.
A School Nurse may also provide emergency first aid to children and act as the point of contact for medical queries or family planning advice. The School Nurse will also train other members of the school staff in managing medicines and medical conditions, and delivering the health curriculum. In an independent school, the School Nurse will usually manage the sick bays and medical centre, and provide on-site medical care.
Both part time and full time hours are usually available, and in a boarding school the School Nurse would be on a 24 call out system. A full time School Nurse can expect to earn 38-42 hours per week.
Skills and Training Development
A School Nurse must be approachable with a non-judgmental attitude and a caring nature. Excellent communication skills are essential and the ability to work by yourself or as part of a team. A School Nurse must be prepared for different situations and that children react differently.
A School Nurse will usually have gained, or be working towards, a School Nursing or Specialist Community Public Health Nurse qualification. This is a 2 year degree and is offered by a variety of universities.
You will have had some nursing experience usually, and have strong mental health care knowledge and attachment theory along with a foundation in child development.
School Nurses can expect to earn up to £33,500 with managerial duties and experience, rising to around £39,000 with further experience or promotion. This will widely depend on the employer.