School nurse

School nurses promote healthy lifestyles and prevent illness with school age students.

Working life

School nurses are qualified and registered nurses or midwives many of whom have chosen to gain additional experience, training and qualifications to become specialist community public health nurses (SCPHN - SN). Their additional training in public health helps them to support children and young people in making healthy lifestyle choices, enabling them to reach their full potential and enjoy life.

School nurses work across education and health, providing a link between school, home and the community. Their aim is improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people. They work with families and young people from five to nineteen and are usually linked to a school or group of schools.

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School nurses see all children with their parents during their first year of schooling for a health assessment, which will include a vision and hearing test. They help children and families gain additional help and support when required, and provide and coordinate additional services for vulnerable children. 

The school nurse’s day-to-day role varies greatly from area to area, and depending on the type of school. Typically, it includes:

They also advise on common childhood conditions such as asthma, diabetes and eczema, working closely with general practitioners, health visitors and other health and social care staff. They may be based in a school, a GP surgery or a health centre and may work as part of a wider team with senior school nurses, community staff nurses and nursery nurses. They may be employed by local councils, the NHS or by schools directly.

"Young people get a lot of negative press but they never fail to impress and inspire me with their resilience and creativity." Philip Wells, lead professional school nursing/practice teacher, Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Read Philip's story

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