dcsimg

Career Story: Small Town School Nurse

Small Town School Nurse

Job Title: School Nurse

Type of Company: I work in an elementary school (grades 3, 4 & 5) as a school nurse.

Education: BSN, Syracuse University

Previous Experience: I worked in medical-surgical hospital units for several years, then taught nursing for 10 years in Boston; I have been a school nurse since 1986. I was also Nurse Leader of my district union for 13 years.

Job Tasks: As the school nurse I'm responsible for protecting and enhancing the physical, mental, social and emotional wellness of the students and staff at my school and I'm the only one there who is qualified to make medical decisions. I believe in a systematic approach to problem-solving and in weighing a student's needs, treating him accordingly and keeping track of the outcome.

A major part of school nursing is working with the families of students and I often contact teachers and a student's private physician for more detailed information on the state of his health. Because healthcare and nursing are collaborative endeavors, I also stay in touch with community agencies and local healthcare systems.

A basic day for me often involves providing care for a child with a chronic disease, typically asthma. The child is having difficulty breathing or complains of a headache, stomach ache or sore throat. But just as often, too, I have to furnish first aid for the cuts and scrapes that children pick up at recess, and I will sometimes help a child with diabetes to test his glucose levels before lunch. I am called upon routinely to administer medication to a child with attention deficit disorder (ADHD) so he can focus on his class work. I provide counseling to the child whose grandparent is dying; listen to the child whose father has just lost his job; provide first aid to the kitchen lady who has just cut her finger. Every day is different, and no day's ever boring.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is convincing a child to stay in school and finish the day, even when he's feeling sub par. It is rewarding to teach children about their bodies and their health and to watch them change their habits when they "get it."

The worst part is all the red tape: the paper forms I have to get from parents and doctors in order to give medication and provide treatment. I also dislike the enormous amounts of record-keeping that go along with the job: entering into the computer all the immunizations, eye & ear screening results, postural screening results, heights, weights and BMI statistics that the school district wants us to keep.

Job Tips: Get nursing experience in a hospital and keep up-to-date on the treatment of pediatric diseases, and especially chronic diseases. And if you're a parent, go to the PTO meetings, attend continuing ed classes on special needs education and volunteer in the nurse's office.

Additional Thoughts: Don't take school nursing lightly. It is not just cuts an d scrapes. I am dealing with children with life-threatening allergies, children with cancer, children with depression. You can be a vital link in teaching a child how to stay healthy physically, emotionally and socially.

Popular Schools offering Rn Registered Nursing Programs

quickinfoClick the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .

Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school

Matching School Ads

Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!

  • Programs: Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership, M.S. in Nursing with an Emphasis in Leadership in Health Care Systems (Bridge), Doctor of Nursing Practice, more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Certificate, Master
West Coast University
Anaheim, North Hollywood, Ontario

West Coast University

  • Programs: Bachelor of Science in Nursing, MSN - Informatics (Online), MSN – Advanced Generalist (Online), more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master
Brightwood College
San Diego, Vista

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

  • Programs: Nursing , Vocational Nursing
  • Degrees: Associate, Diploma
Unitek College
Fremont, Hayward

Unitek College™ is a privately held vocational school dedicated to helping you gain the skills needed to advance your career or begin a brand new career. 

  • Programs: Associate of Science in Nursing, Vocational Nursing
  • Degrees: Associate, Certificate

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

  • Programs: Master of Science in Nursing: Nursing Administration, Master of Science in Nursing: Nurse Educator
  • Degrees: Master
Platt College
Alhambra

Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

  • Programs: Vocational Nursing Program*
  • Degrees: Associate

The University

With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.

  • Programs: MSN Clinical Nurse Educator
  • Degrees: Master

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's Online Master's Programs

At Saint Mary's, we take pride in offering online graduate degrees designed to complement the schedules of working adults like you. Get an affordable, convenient education from a top-ranked university that's grounded in real-world applications.

  • Programs: Online - RN to Bachelors of Science in Nursing
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning.

  • Programs: Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Leadership Track (MSN to DNP), Online Master of Science in Nursing (BSN to MSN-FNP), Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Family Nurse Practitioner Track (BSN to DNP), more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Master

Sacred Heart University Online 

  • Programs: MSN - Clinical Nurse Leader, MSN - Nursing Management and Executive Leadership
  • Degrees: Master
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Registered Nurses

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Registered Nurses, including:

Back to Top