4 Tips For New School Nurses

Are you a new school nurse who don't know where to start? Check out these quick tips to help you get your feet off the ground.

Shelby Allan, RN

1/27/20232 min read

4 Tips for New School Nurses

During nursing school many of us aren't exposed to the area of school nursing and if we are we get a very limited amount of clinical time shadowing a school nurse. Because of the lack of exposure a lot of new school nurses have no idea what they are getting into. As a nurse who is in my second year of school nursing I have some great advice and tips for those who want to dive into the world of school nursing!

  1. Shadow a school nurse

Shadowing a school nurse for a few days can give you great insight on their day to day responsibilities. It also gives you the opportunity to ask questions. Be sure to ask about hours, added responsibilities in the school, for example, are you in charge of the Emergency Response Team, the Safety Team, or are you going to be in charge of educating students on certain health topics. By having an in depth overview it will help you to decide if school nursing is right for you.

  1. Research Immunization Schedules

Each state will have different requirements for immunizations It will be key for you to have a basic understanding of the different immunizations and when children will need to receive them. Your state may also have you complete a vaccine report each year to show your students compliance with required vaccinations.

  1. Get Back to the Books and Refresh your Knowledge on diseases

It's time to hit the books! School nursing is very different from any other kind of nursing you may have worked in previously. If you work in a small district like myself you may be the only nurse and be expected to know everything about everyones disease process and how to manage it. As a former NICU nurse, Diabetes was not one of the major problems I encountered on a daily basis, so when I started working in the school I found myself feeling lost and that led me to get back to work and researching diabetes.

assorted books on wooden table
assorted books on wooden table
  1. Stock Up on Ice Packs and Bandaids!

I know this may seem like a joke but I'm 100% serious. You won't believe how many icepacks and bandaids I go through during PE and recess time! There are many different options for ice packs and bandaids, so make sure to check out all the catalogs you receive to pick the best option for your school.

School nursing may not be for everyone but it really does take a special person to care for our kids while they are at school. One of my favorite quotes is "students must be healthy to be educated and educated to be healthy" It truly states why the work of the school nurse is so vital for our schools. If you know or work with a school nurse be sure to give them a shoutout and make sure they know they are appreciated!