School nurses work with schools and families to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people.
1. Entry requirements
- a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) approved degree
- around 2 years' professional experience as a qualified adult nurse
- current registration with the NMC
- clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
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
- 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.
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 environmentYou’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 progressionWith 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 2017
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