School Nursing Careers

How to become School Nursing

What does a School Nursing do?

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.

What's the working environment like working as a School Nursing?

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.

What does it take to become a School Nursing?

To work as a school nurse you should:

  • be able to relate well to people of all ages from all backgrounds
  • enjoy working with children
  • have good communication skills
  • be mature and responsible, but also have a sense of humour
  • be tactful and patient and able to stay calm in an emergency
  • be able to work and make decisions by yourself and as part of your team
  • be able to talk confidently about sensitive issues
  • be able to win the confidence of children and encourage them to talk about their problems
  • be emotionally strong to deal with difficult issues.

School Nursing Career Opportunities

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.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about School Nursing that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association
33-37 Moreland Street
Tel: 020 7780 4000

NHS Learning and Development Service
Tel: 08000 150 850

NHS Careers
PO Box 376
BS99 3EY
Tel: 0845 606 0655

Nursing and Midwifery Admissions Service (NMAS)
New Barn Lane
GL52 3LZ
Tel: 0870 112 2206 for general enquiries
Tel: 0870 112 2200 for application packs

Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS)
New Barn Lane
GL52 3LZ
Tel: 0870 1122 211

23 Portland Place
Tel: 020 7637 7181
Registration contacts
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
CF10 1DX
Tel: 029 2026 1400

Northern Ireland
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
Shore Road
Co Antrim
BT37 0Q
Tel: 08700 400 700

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