School nurses are registered nurses (RNs) who work in schools and they have the option of earning school nurse certification. A wide range of schools in Pennsylvania offer programs designed for persons wanting to work as school nurses. Many of such programs are certification programs, though a few lead to the award of certificates and at least one master's degree is also available.
The school's admission requirements typically include that students have at least a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) and a current Pennsylvania nursing license. Some schools also require that students have malpractice insurance and that they pass certain background checks. All nursing programs include an element of clinical or practicum experiences.
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
The Department of Nursing at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, which is located in Bloomsburg, offers accredited undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Individuals interested in school nursing can earn a Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N) for RNs practicing as a certified school nurse. They receive credit for their previous education and can complete the M.S.N. with only an additional 33 credits of coursework. Since enrollees are already working as school nurses, they're not required to repeat the clinical requirements.
At Eastern University in Saint Davids students can earn a K-12 School Nurse Certification. The certification program takes about a year to complete. Courses include educational foundations, the responsibilities of a school nurse and working with exceptional children as a school nurse. They must also complete a school practicum, which consists of 100 hours of field experience.
Located about 20 miles west of Philadelphia in Immaculata, Immaculata University is a Catholic university that's committed to Christian values, professionalism, ethical integrity and academics. The university offers a School Nurse Post-Baccalaureate Certification that trains students to apply the principles of holistic health care and holistic nursing in schools. Students can enroll without a nursing license if they're currently enrolled in the B.S.N. program at Immaculata and have previously completed courses in school health theory and practice, social foundations of education and introductory special education.
La Salle University
Philadelphia's La Salle University is a private university that's affiliated with the Roman Catholic church. Students can earn an M.S.N. Certificate Program - School Nurse Certificate. The program prepares them to serve in a school nurse setting, working with children from infancy through 21 years of age. The 16-credit school nurse certificate includes courses in education and human exceptionalities, education and cognitive development, nursing the exceptional child and communicative disorders counseling. Students must also complete a student nurse practicum.
Millersville University, located in Millersville, offers a post-baccalaureate School Nurse Certification through the Department of Nursing. A School Health Services Supervisory Certification, which prepares students for supervisory positions in school nursing, is also available for students who already hold school nurse certification. The School Nurse Certification includes training in educational psychology, the psychological aspects of individuals with disabilities and a school nursing practicum. Graduates should be able to collect data, use it make a diagnosis, establish interventions for certain illnesses and implement the intervention plans.
Saint Joseph's University
Located in Philadelphia, Saint Joseph's University provides men and women with a Jesuit education that is designed to help them achieve their professional goals. The Departments of Health Services and Teacher Education offer a 5-course program that can lead to the Pennsylvania Educational Specialist: School Nurse Certification. Course topics include historical and contemporary perspectives in education, teaching psychology, special education foundations, school nurse practice and a school nurse practicum.
Slippery Rock University
Slippery Rock University, which is located in Slippery Rock_, offers a 21-credit School Nurse Certification. Students must work with a certified school nurse for 100 hours as part of a school nurse practicum. Their other courses explore strategies for teaching individuals with mild learning and behavioral problems, the basics of professional school nursing, nursing issues in special education, developmental disabilities and theories of teaching English.
University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus
At the University of Pittsburgh's Pittsburg campus, students can earn a School Nurse Certificate through the School of Education and the School of Nursing. Courses include educational psychology, a school nurse seminar and a school nurse practicum. The part-time program can be completed in 3 terms. Students can also join the Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Incorporated, an organization designed for student nurses and registered professional nurses.
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
The School Nurse Certificate at West Chester University of Pennsylvania in West Chester is a 13-credit post-baccalaureate program. Course topics include studies in physical assessment, legal mandates for school nurses, special education fundamentals and perspectives in community health nursing. The community health nursing course also includes a practicum.
To take the certification exam, individuals must have at least a bachelor's degree and have completed at least 1,000 hours of clinical practice in school nursing in the last 3 years, according to the National Board of Certification of School Nurses. Pennsylvania requirements include that students complete a school nurse certificate from 1 of 16 schools in Pennsylvania that have been approved by the Pennsylvania Association of School Nurses and Practitioners.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||School Nurse Certificates Offered||Undergraduate/Graduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania||4-year, public; small city||Master of Science in Nursing for Nurses Practicing as a certified School Nurse|| $15,266 in-state;
$21,458 out-of-state (graduate)*
|Eastern University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||K-12 School Nurse Certification||$32,947*|
|Immaculata University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||School Nurse Post-Baccalaureate Certification||$27,350*|
|La Salle University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city||M.S.N. Certificate Program - School Nurse Certificate||$30,710*|
|Millersville University||4-year, public; large suburb||School Nurse Certification and a School Health Services Supervisory Certification||$12,226 in-state;
|Saint Joseph's University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Pennsylvania Educational Specialist: School Nurse Certification||$44,974*|
|Slippery Rock University||4-year, public; distant town||School Nurse Certification|| $10,757 in-state;
|University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus||4-year, public; large city||School Nurse Certification|| $19,080 in-state;
|West Chester University of Pennsylvania||4-year, public; large suburb||School Nurse Certification||$10,412 in-state;
Source: *NCES College Navigator