School Nurse Job Description Template

A school nurse works with a patient.

If you think school nursing consists of taking temperatures and cleaning up scraped knees, then you’re probably undervaluing the challenges your healthcare staff faces each day. A growing number of school nurses spend their time monitoring the needs of children with acute and chronic health challenges and working with teachers and school therapists to develop appropriate levels of support for students with disabilities.

Unfortunately, school nurse job descriptions, compensation levels, and resources often fail to consider the increased responsibilities and stress these highly skilled professionals face daily. As a result, many nurses are leaving the profession, adding to a nursing shortage that stands at 1 million and counting, with demand for educational health support staff projected to grow 12% over the next decade.

Complicating this staffing crisis is the fact that many states require that school nursing positions be filled with higher credentialed, more expensive, and increasingly scarce registered nurses (RNs) rather than licensed practical nurses (LPNs). State regulations also determine whether you need a state-licensed nurse on duty whenever students are on school grounds and how many nurses need to be employed based on your student population. Ensure you comply with state and municipal regulations when addressing state and municipal regulations when looking to address your staffing needs.

A well-crafted job description can improve your chances of attracting properly credentialed applicants to address your students’’ healthcare needs. The template below can get you started as you draft a job listing that reflects your school culture and describes your ideal candidate. For more ideas on what to include in your school nurse job description, you can read Monster’s current job listings for the most sought-after skills and capabilities needed for this position.

A school nurse works with a patient.

School Nurse Job Description

Intro Paragraph: Your job description should begin with a concise overview of the open position and the ideal candidate. Writing this summary will help you to focus on the most critical qualities you seek in your next school nurse.

You might phrase it: We seek a dedicated, compassionate school nurse. The ideal candidate has experience working with children, either in a school or in pediatric medicine.

About Our School: Nurses tend to be mission-driven, so this is the perfect place to summarize your organizational mission and values and explain what makes your school unique. Is your student population preschool-age, elementary, middle, or high school? Do you run a large regional public high school or a small, private academy? Does your curriculum focus on arts or STEM? Do you have a team of nurses your new hire will become part of, or will they be the sole nurse on campus?

Consider asking two to three current nurses or faculty members to craft their summation of what makes working for your school stand out. The more you can communicate the elements that make your school unique, the more likely you are to attract applicants who will be a good fit.

School Nurse Job Responsibilities: The following list of daily job responsibilities may differ depending on the age of your student population, the size of your nursing staff, and whether your school is private or public, a magnet or vocational high school, or if you serve a specific population. You might include:

  • Assesses student health needs to develop appropriate patient care plans, including determining when sick or injured children should be sent home, seek follow-up medical care, and, if warranted, be referred for emergency transport to a hospital setting.
  • Treats student injuries, illnesses, and chronic conditions by providing appropriate standards of care, conducts screenings and administers vaccines.
  • Administers medicine as needed on an emergency and ongoing basis based on student needs.
  • Collaborates with parents, family physicians, teachers, school social workers, and multidisciplinary professional staff to implement individualized student care, particularly for students with chronic conditions.
  • Provides physical and psychological support, advice, and referrals for care for students, staff, and families.
  • Meets nursing operational standards by contributing information to outside family medical professionals, providing care, and identifying system improvements.
  • Identifies patient service requirements by establishing a personal rapport with student patients, teachers and school staff, families, outside medical service providers, and other people in a position to understand individual student health needs and service requirements.
  • Maintains quality of care by adhering to staff policies and procedures, state board of nursing requirements, and other governing agency regulations, and measuring health outcomes against standards.
  • Establishes a compassionate environment by providing emotional and psychological support to students, families, and staff.
  • Promotes patients’ independence by establishing patient care goals and teaching and counseling students, family, and staff to reinforce their understanding of disease and self-care.
  • Maintains a safe and clean working environment and maintains and promotes hygiene practices in the nurse’s office, classrooms, and throughout the school.
  • Provides expert advice to administration, faculty, staff, and student parents and guardians on health-related matters.
  • Protects students and staff by developing and interpreting infection-control policies and protocols and enforcing medication administration and storage procedures.
  • Maintains documentation on student care services and keeps confidential medical information secure.
  • Ensures operation of medical and administrative equipment by verifying emergency equipment availability, completing preventive maintenance requirements, following manufacturer’s instructions, troubleshooting malfunctions, requesting repairs, maintaining equipment inventories, and evaluating new equipment and techniques.
  • Manages nursing supplies inventory by studying usage reports, identifying trends, anticipating needed supplies, and approving requisitions and cost allocations.
  • Maintains professional and technical knowledge and certification by attending educational workshops, reviewing professional publications, and participating in professional societies.
  • Fosters a cooperative relationship among nursing team members, faculty and staff, and parents and guardians by communicating information, responding to requests, and participating in team problem-solving.

Work Hours and Benefits: Next, you’ll want to include the required hours, salary range, and benefits that come with this position. Remember that one factor leading to turnover in this sector is that school nurses make an average of $20,000 less than comparably credentialed nurses working in hospitals. To determine a fair offer for your city or town, you can use a salary tool like Monster’s, which allows you to input the job title and location to calculate estimates for low, median, and high salary offers. Remember that other schools are not your only competition for nursing talent, which means you should probably determine the median salary for nurses in different settings as well.

One of the best ways to use this section of your school nurse job description is to emphasize the benefits and perks that are most likely to appeal to applicants in this highly competitive field, such as flexible or part-time scheduling and job-sharing opportunities, student loan repayment, and tuition reimbursement and opportunities for professional development.

School Nurse Skills/Qualifications: Be aware that some candidates are less likely to apply for positions if they don’t think they have every listed qualification. Exhaustive lists of required skills and experiences can be especially detrimental if you want to strengthen your diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and attract women applicants and candidates from underrepresented groups. For this reason, you may want to limit the number of required skills you include or divide your requirements between “required” and “optional” qualifications.

  • Clinical skills
  • Bedside manner
  • Infection control
  • Physiological knowledge
  • Administering medication
  • Organizational and multitasking skills
  • Listening and verbal communication skills
  • Teamwork and collaborative skills
  • Coaching and mentoring skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Health promotion and maintenance
  • Patient focus
  • Safety focus
  • Familiarity with local, state, and federal policies and standards guiding health practices and confidentiality
  • Knowledge of current research regarding child and adolescent development

Education, Experience, and Licensing Requirements:

  • Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practice Nurses (LPN), depending on your state or municipality’s regulations for school nursing
  • Active state nursing license
  • American Heart Association issued Basic Life Support (BLS) or Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certification
  • Prior experience as a staff nurse in a school or pediatric setting is a plus

Call to Action: End your school nurse job description with a “call to action” that encourages qualified applicants to “apply now” by completing an online application.

Get Your Search for Your Next School Nurse Off to a Healthy Start

You’ve drafted a grade-A school nurse job description. Now leverage it to extend your reach and attract highly qualified nurses to your join your school community with a comprehensive recruiting plan from Monster.