School nursing is a specialty available to registered nurses with relevant advanced training and certification. These professionals work primarily in schools and universities, but may be hired by any number of public and private agencies. Special certification is required for this position and requirements vary between states. A national certification is available, but does not negate state sanctioned licensing and certification.
What is School Nursing?
School nursing is a specialty within the medical field that allows professionals to work with adolescents and college students on a regular basis. While school nurses are RNs with equitable training to those that work in hospitals and clinics, these professionals earn special certification and focus on keeping students healthy. In addition to the day-to-day ailments that may be presented to the professional, he or she often manages and controls the spread of infectious illnesses such as the common cold and flu. Those working in this specialty must be vigilant and have good judgment when it comes to filtering out legitimate medical concerns and those which do not prevent the student from continuing the day in school. Nurses in this position are also typically responsible for maintaining records and contacting guardians when a student presents with an illness.
The National Association of School Nurses is a professional organization that provides resources and support to those working in this field and those interested in a career in the specialty. The NASN also hosts the National Academy of School Nurses, which honors those who make a broad impact on the industry.
Nursing School Curriculum for School Nursing
School Nurses are licensed RNs with a National Certified School Nursing (NCSN) designation. They must complete rigorous training and education from an accredited nursing school before testing for registration licensing and participating in a NCSN certification exam. Additionally, some states require specific state-sponsored certification testing in order to achieve a career in this specialty. Requirements vary by state and the NASN suggests students should contact a National Association of School Nurses Affiliate in their area when ready for certification.
Careers for Nursing School Graduates with School Nursing Specialty
Graduates with a School Nursing specialty are ready to be hired by educational institutions in their state and in other areas of the country, depending on local requirements. While many in the profession work in schools, this is not an exclusive employment opportunity. Other agencies hire school nurses, including boards of education, hospitals, health departments, primary schools, post-secondary schools, colleges, private schools, and other agencies.
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