Certificate programs emphasize study in school populations and school health services management. An internship is usually included in the curriculum, and graduates are prepared to take their state's school nurse licensing exams. However, school nurse certification varies by state, so professionals interested in this field should check for specific requirements. Individuals who are interested in these certificate programs must be licensed registered nurses.
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Certificate in School Nursing
Program coursework for school nurse certificate programs varies, but programs typically require a minimum of 15 credit hours for completion. Typical courses required for a school nurse certificate include:
- School health nursing
- Education and school nursing
- School nurse internship
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), registered nurses--which includes schools nurses--should see a 16% increase in job growth between 2014 and 2024. In May 2015, the median salary for registered nurses in general was $67,490 annually, according to the BLS (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Information
Certificate programs prepare students for the voluntary National Board for Certification of School Nurses certification exam. To take the certification exam, candidates must hold a bachelor's degree in nursing or another health-related field and be licensed as a registered nurse (RN). Candidates must also be employed as a school nurse, preferably for at least three years, before undertaking application.
School nurses certified by the National Board for Certification of School Nurses must be recertified every five years. As part of the recertification process, they must complete 75 hours of continuing education and ensure the validity of their RN license. State licenses may also be subject for renewal, depending on the state. Typically, a state license is valid for 3-5 years.
Licensed registered nurses that are interested in becoming school nurses are eligible for certificate programs available at many colleges and universities. School nurses are able to take the certification exam to be a certified school nurse after working as one for three years.