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School Nurse Job Description

Position Statement of SNANC:
School Nurse Job Description
(Sample provided by the School Nurse Association of North Carolina)

(Well-written job descriptions can help establish consistent minimum qualifications for the job. It should be current and it must be in writing. It should be reviewed annually and updated when the duties, responsibilities or qualifications change. This is a sample and may serve as a good starting point, but it must be modified to fit your specific position. This sample includes the "8 Elements of a Good Job Description" described by the Knuckles Corporation)

1.  Job title and Classification

(The classification should include any organizational classification codes and include the department, section and work unit, as well as wage classification, etc.)

  • The school nurse is employed by (name of Local Education Agency).
  • The school health program is within (Student Support Services / Exceptional Children's Program/etc).
  • The school nurse serves: (list all schools served)
  • The position is (full time or part-time or number of hours per week; temporary or regular; hourly or salaried; exempt or non-exempt).
  • The salary range is (give range).

2.  Primary Purpose Statement

(This is 1 to 2 sentences describing the primary duty or overall purpose of the job.)

  • The professional school nurse is responsible for planning, implementing, coordinating and evaluating school health services within the context of the Coordinated School Health Program Model.
  • The school nurse serves in the roles of program manager/ coordinator, case manager/direct care provider, collaborator/advocate, educator and counselor for the (school district) in assigned schools.

3.   Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

The complex role of the school nurse demands, but is not limited to, an understanding and knowledge of:

  • Community, including community as a system and aggregates as clients
  • Pediatric/adolescent Nursing
  • Public Health/ Community Health Nursing
  • Health counseling, mental health and crisis intervention
  • Communicable Disease
  • Applicable laws, regulations and standards pertaining to school nursing practice (NC Nurse Practice Act, Standards of School Nursing Practice and the Eight Components of a Coordinated School Health Program)
  • School Health law
  • Special education legislation and services
  • Case finding, case management and health advocacy
  • Program management, including personnel supervision
  • Family theory, assessment and intervention
  • Leadership, networking and collaboration
  • Ethnic and cultural sensitivity and competence
  • Contemporary health and psychosocial issues that influence children, families and the community
  • Health care delivery systems and the concepts of the primary health care
  • Building student, staff and family capacity for adaptation, self management, self-advocacy and learning
  • School as a non-traditional health care setting
  • Development, management and evaluation of school health programs
  • Environmental health within the school community

Skills related to this important role include the ability to:

  • Plan, coordinate and supervise the work of others
  • Deal tactfully with others and exercise good judgment in appraising situations
  • Make independent and timely nursing decisions and to triage
  • Secure the cooperation and respect of students, faculty and staff
  • Elicit needed information and maintain effective working relationships
  • Collect data to direct evidence based practice
  • Record accurately services rendered and interpret and explain records, reports, activities, health care plans, accommodations and medical interventions
  • Identify health related barriers to learning (i.e., at risk behaviors, financial, cultural, economical, etc.)

4.  Duties, Responsibilities and Essential Job Functions

(This section should list specific job elements and responsibilities relative to the goals/objectives of the organization.  Essential functions must be noted to meet the burden placed on employers by ADA and the Amended Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  These are the primary reasons for the position's existence.  It is advisable to add "other duties as assigned" to account for unexpected changes in the organization or duty change.)

This professional school nursing position within (name of LEA) is responsible for planning, implementing, coordinating and evaluating school health services that:

  • Maximize the quantity of in-class time by reducing the incidence of health related absenteeism,
  • Eliminate or minimize health problems which impair learning
  • Promote the highest degree of independent functioning possible
  • Promote student, staff and community awareness of and participation in healthy behaviors

The school nurse will provide:

Standards of Care

  • Assessment: Collects comprehensive data pertinent to the client's health or situation
  • Diagnosis: Analyzes the assessment data to determine the diagnosis or issues
  • Outcomes Identification: Identifies expected outcomes for a plan individualized to the client or situation
  • Planning: Develops a plan that prescribes strategies and alternatives to attain expected outcomes
  • Implementation: Implements the identified plan through coordination of care, health teaching and health promotion and consultation to influence the identified plan, enhance the abilities of others and effect change.
  • Evaluation: Evaluates progress towards attainment of outcomes

Standards of Professional Performance

  • Quality of Practice: Systematically enhances the quality and effectiveness of nursing practice
  • Education: Attains knowledge and competency that reflects current school nursing practice
  • Professional Practice Evaluation: Evaluates one's own nursing practice in relation to professional practice standards and guidelines, relevant statutes, rules and regulations
  • Collegiality: Interacts with and contributes to the professional development of peers and school personnel as colleagues
  • Collaboration: Collaborates with the client, the family, school staff and others in the conduct of school nursing practice
  • Ethics: Integrates ethical provisions in all areas of practice
  • Research: Integrates research findings into practice
  • Resource Utilization: Considers factors related to safety, effectiveness, cost and impact on practice on the planning and delivery of school nursing services
  • Leadership: Provides leadership in the professional practice setting and the profession
  • Program Management: Manages school health services

5.  Performance and Work Load Standards

(Attempt to identify the expectations for work output, performance and work load.  Identify at what point the output is unacceptable.)  The following is only an example and this must be individualized for the agency.)

At a minimum, the school nurse may be expected to:

  • Attend the New School Nurse Orientation and follow up session (new school nurses)
  • Address the six core functions as identified in the School Nurse Funding Initiative
  • Collect data for the NC DHHS School Health Nursing Survey and Program Summary (End of Year of Report)
  • (Individualize this for your specific situation)

6.  Job Qualifications

(Recommended qualifications to perform school nursing duties to standard or above)

  • Required: Registered nurse, currently licensed in North Carolina
  • A minimum of 3 years RN nursing experience dealing with young children and adolescents (ages 5 - 18)
  • Registered nurse working toward baccalaureate degree to be completed within 3 years of hire date
  • Baccalaureate-prepared registered nurse in nursing or health-related field (effective Jan. 15, 2009) working toward national school nurse certification with the stipulation that certification be completed within 3 years of hire date.  In accordance of National Board Certification, it is recommended that the nurse sitting for the exam have 3 years of school nursing experience.

Download Sample Job Description here



School Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, American Nurses Association, Silver Spring, MD 2005
School Nurse Appraisal Instruments, Orange County Public School System, March 2008


Created by: Professional Practice and Standards Committee, Jan. 26, 2006; Revised: Jan. 29, 2009
Adopted by: School Nurse Association of North Carolina, Sept. 15, 2006: Revisions adopted: May 15, 2009