A school nurse plays an important role in the health of the school environment. Their day-to-day interactions with students who are suffering ailments from the stomach flu to head lice make an impact on the health of the overall population of the school as well as the student themselves.

When deciding on a school nurse to fill the needs of a school health office there are many qualities to look for to know the nurse will be able to handle the position:

  • Caring nature
  • Empathetic
  • Keep detailed records
  • Emotionally stable
  • Adaptable
  • Quick thinker
  • Great judgement
  • Hard working
  • Great communicator
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Physical endurance
  • Problem solving skills
  • Respect
  • Professionalism
  • Diligence
  • Deeper understanding of life
  • Sense of hope
  • Be able to never say never
  • A sense of pride in their profession
  • A life-long learner

Dealing with children on an everyday basis takes a very compassionate person. Children take their bruised knees much more serious than an adult would and the caring that goes into treating such an injury requires not only knowledge but caring and sensitivity. A minor injury that may not even require medical attention is a big deal to a young child and the nurse has to treat it and the child with respect and discretion.

Children won’t always open up to adults and speak openly if there are problems in their home lives. They may instead feel or complain of symptoms to non-existent illness that are actually a cry for help. Being able to recognize these signs is incredibly important to the lives of some students.

Communicating comfortably with children of different ages, from the kindergartner to the senior in high school is important. Not only will they be in constant communication with children of varying age levels, they will need to talk to parents about what could be uncomfortable situations and to teachers and school administrators.

There are a lot of requirements for the school nurse. National Association of School Nurses recommends a four year bachelor’s degree and registered nurse certification as the minimum standard. In the school environment they will need to be role models, communicators and have the ability to interact with students. When one accepts this role they also accept that they will be lifelong learners. They will need to keep up on medical news and take continuing education courses to stay current in their knowledge enabling them to take care of the student’s health.