A person who wants to become a school health nurse usually has to be licensed in nursing. Different jurisdictions have varied requirements for school health nurses, however, so a person who wants to become a school health nurse should check the requirements in his particular area. In many places, however, a person must be a registered nurse to pursue this career. This usually requires the aspiring nurse to secure an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing, at minimum. There are many jurisdictions, however, in which a person is required to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing to find a job as a school nurse.
An individual who wants to become a school health nurse may have a few different educational options. A person interested in this job may attend a diploma program at a vocational school or hospital or pursue an associate’s degree at a community college in preparation for this career. An individual who chooses either of these options may complete his nursing program in a couple of years. Diploma programs may be more difficult to find, however, as associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs may be more in demand in many areas.
Many employers of school health nurses prefer applicants who have bachelor’s degrees in nursing. Besides offering a job applicant an easier time finding a job, a bachelor’s degree in nursing may afford a school health nurse more opportunities to advance in the nursing field. Additionally, many nurses who start out with associate’s degrees or diplomas in nursing go on to pursue bachelor’s degrees later in their careers.
After securing the education required to become a registered nurse, a person who wants to become a school health nurse usually has to earn a license to practice nursing in his jurisdiction. This usually requires him to pass his jurisdiction’s licensing exam. Additionally, some countries have national or regional organizations that certify school nurses as well. An individual may seek such certification to boost his chances of finding a job.
In addition to education and licensing, there are certain qualities that may make a person a good candidate for becoming a school nurse. A school health nurse is typically expected to have patience and compassion as well as critical thinking skills. He is usually expected to have knowledge of his jurisdiction’s educational laws and policies as well. When necessary, he may also be expected to act as an advocate for the students in his care.