School nurses work with pupils, teachers and parents to promote good health and well-being in children at school. Their duties include raising awareness on health issues such as smoking, drug abuse or safe sex, and contributing to social education and citizenship classes. They also support children with medical needs such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy or mental health problems. School nurses are likely to work with teachers to help them understand the health care needs of individual children.
An important part of their work is running immunisation and vaccination programmes.
School nurses employed by NHS trusts can work full- or part-time, but most work part-time and term-time only. This means many nurses work between 38 and 42 weeks a year.
School nurses can work for a single school or cover a number of schools. In the latter case they would probably be based at a GP practice or health centre. A driving licence is essential.
In private boarding schools they could be on 24-hour call to cover emergencies and so would be required to live at the school.
To work as a school nurse you should:
There are currently around 2,500 school nurses employed by NHS trusts throughout the UK. School nurses are also employed in the private sector, working in independent boarding schools and day schools.
There are few opportunities for promotion in school nursing, although it is possible to move to a larger school or another NHS trust for a position offering more responsibility and experience. Another option is to move to another branch of nursing or become a health visitor. See relevant job profiles.
If you would like to know anything about School Nursing that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Nursing and Midwifery Admissions Service (NMAS)
New Barn Lane
Tel: 0870 112 2206 for general enquiries
Tel: 0870 112 2200 for application packs
Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS)
New Barn Lane
Tel: 0870 1122 211
23 Portland Place
Tel: 020 7637 7181
Overseas: 020 7333 6600
General: 020 7333 9333
NHS Education for Scotland
Careers Information Service
66 Rose Street
Tel: 0131 225 4365
Health Professions Wales
2nd Floor, Golate House
101 St Mary Street
Tel: 029 2026 1400
Queens University of Belfast
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Medical Biology Centre
97 Lisburn Road
Tel: 028 9097 2233
University of Ulster at Jordanstown
School of Nursing
Tel: 08700 400 700