School nurses are specialist community public health nurses (SCPHN) who work with school-aged children and young people and their families to improve health and wellbeing outcomes and reduce inequalities and vulnerabilities.
Training and qualifications requiredTo train as a school nurse, you must first qualify and register as a nurse or midwife. You may then take an approved programme in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN). Nurses or midwives from any branch of nursing can enter the programme at any stage as long as they demonstrate that they can meet the academic requirements.
Expected working hours and salary rangeJobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales. School nursing jobs usually start at band 6 but there is opportunity to move up the bands with experience. School nurses in the NHS will usually work standard hours of 37.5 per week. School nurses are increasingly being employed by local authorities where terms and conditions can vary.
Desirable skills and valuesYou'll need to be well organised, confident and able to cope with potentially challenging situations, such as working with a homeless family or in a refuge. You should be able to work independently for most of your time, although you will work as part of a team of other healthcare staff. You'll be responsible for people with a range of needs, so being flexible and being able to prioritise effectively is vital.
ProspectsYou might choose to work towards senior school nursing or managerial roles, or carry out research and possibly become a lecturer in nursing or a related subject. You may also choose to qualify as a specialist community public health nurse (SCPHN).
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