School nurse

Job Description:

School nurses work with schools and families to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

Job Category:
Health Care & Social Assistance

What you will do:

In this role you could:

  • raise awareness of health issues like smoking and drugs
  • promote healthy living, including sex and health education
  • give immunisations, vaccinations and carry out screenings
  • train teachers on healthcare issues and advise on school health policy
  • support children with medical needs like asthma, diabetes, epilepsy or mental health issues


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of medicine and nursing practices

As well as:

  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations (leadership skills)
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • a desire to help people
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements
You’ll need to:

  • pass enhanced background checks
  • you’ll usually need a driving licence for this job.
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

Becoming a school nurse involves a combination of education, skills, and experience in healthcare. While there are no strict subject requirements for this role, certain subjects can provide a strong foundation for developing the skills and knowledge needed to work as a school nurse.

Here are some relevant subjects and skills that can be beneficial:

  1. Science (Biology and Chemistry): A solid understanding of biological and chemical principles is important for understanding health and medical concepts relevant to nursing.
  2. Mathematics: Math skills are essential for calculating medication dosages, understanding medical data, and managing healthcare records.
  3. English Language: Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, are vital for effectively communicating with students, parents, and other healthcare professionals.
  4. Psychology or Health and Social Care: These subjects can provide insights into human behaviour, mental health, and the social aspects of healthcare, which are relevant to working with students.

You can get into this job through an apprenticeship or by working towards this role.

Post School

Education and Licensure

To become a school nurse, you will typically need to follow these steps:

  • Education: Obtain a nursing qualification, such as a diploma or degree in nursing (Registered Nurse – RN) from a recognised nursing program. Some school nursing positions may require a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.
  • Licensure: Obtain the necessary nursing license or registration required by your country or state. You must meet the licensing requirements and pass the nursing licensure examination.
  • Experience: Gain clinical experience in nursing, preferably in areas related to paediatrics, public health, or community health.
  • Specialisation: Apply for school nurse positions when they become available. Some schools may require or prefer school nurses with specialised training or certification in school nursing.
  • Certification: Consider obtaining certification as a School Nurse through organisations such as the National Board for Certification of School Nurses (NBCSN) in the United States.

Working Hours and Environment:

You could typically work 38 to 40 hours per week.

You could work at a school, at a pupil referral unit, in the community or at a college.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience you could:

  • become a team manager or community matron
  • become a manager of a service
  • work in education or research