How do You Become a School Nurse?

If you would like to play a part in improving the health of the student body, you may want to become a school nurse.

School nurses play an important role in meeting the health needs of students so that they are safe, healthy and better equipped to learn. For some students, the school nurse is the only health professional a student will see on a regular basis. Because of this, it is crucial that nursing professionals in educational settings have specialized training so that they can meet the physical, emotional and mental health needs of children and teenage students.

Here are the steps you must take to get that mandatory specialized training:

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

To work as a school nurse, you must have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree. You can either study for your Bachelor’s in Nursing or your degree in a health-related area. Some of of the majors that are accepted for national board certification within the field are: biochemistry, chemistry, nutrition, health education and counseling.

Earn Your RN Nurse License

Most students will earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing so that they can test for their RN license right out of school. Becoming an RN before you can earn your school nurse certification is essential. The National Board for Certification of School Nurses grants certification to school nurses and will verify that all applicants have passed the NCLEX-RN exam and maintained their license before they are qualified for their school nurse certification.

Get Professional Experience

After you pass the NCLEX-RN, you will need to get your feet wet by gaining clinical experience in school nursing. The NBCSN requires you to have 1000 hours of clinical experience at a minimum. All of your experience must be within the past 3 years to be accepted.

Sit for Your NBCSN Credential Exam

Once you meet the educational requirements and the experience requirements, the last step is to sit for your exam to earn your license. Before you sit to take the test, be sure that you have reviewed Authorization to Test document and that you have reviewed all of the preparation materials offered by the council. It might even be helpful to take crash courses to study with students who are prepping as well.

Earn Your Continuing Education Credits

Once you earn your certification, you must keep up with your education by taking continuing education courses. You are required to renew every 5 years and prove that you have completed at least 75 units that are approved by the council for recertification. These courses are on a long list of different practices and developments in the field.

School nursing can be a very rewarding field for nurses who want to care for students who get sick or injured while they are in a learning environment. You must start by taking the steps needed to become a Registered Nurse. Once you have your RN license and you have experience in a school setting, you can take the necessary steps to get certified to work in a school with students. Be sure to research the demand for school nurses to find out which regions have the best job outlook. In doing this, you will be better able to land a job as a school nurse.

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