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School nurse

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

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £22,000 to £41,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37.5 per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll need:

You'll then need to take a NMC approved course in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN). These courses take 1 year full time, or 2 years part time.

You may be able to find a vacancy with the NHS that includes working under supervision, receiving a salary and studying.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent communication and listening skills
  • the ability to win the trust of children and encourage them to talk about their problems
  • the ability to explore sensitive issues with tact, understanding and patience
  • the ability to stay calm in an emergency
  • record-keeping and organisational skills

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • raising awareness of health issues like smoking and drug abuse
  • promoting healthy living, including safe-sex education
  • giving immunisations and vaccinations
  • carrying out developmental screening
  • training teachers on healthcare issues
  • advising on school health policy
  • supporting children with medical needs like asthma, diabetes, epilepsy or mental health issues

You’ll work closely with other agencies, like social services in child protection cases.

4. Salary

Starter: £22,000 to £28,500

Experienced: up to £35,000 (nurse specialist)

Highly Experienced: up to £41,000 (manager)

Salaries will vary in private schools.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work 37.5 hours a week. Part-time hours are also often available.

You could work just in one school or across a number of schools. You might also work in places like referral units, further education colleges and youth centres.

You’ll usually need a driving licence.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a team manager or a community matron.

You could also become a manager of a service or work in education or research. 

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Last updated: 13 September 2018