School nurse
Health & Care

A school nurse is a qualified nurse who works in the community, promoting the health and well-being of the school-age population. Would you like to use your nursing skills to promote good health and well-being amongst schoolchildren?

Work Activities

A school nurse may also be known as a Specialist Community Health Adviser, a term which offers a more accurate reflection of the duties involved. The work may vary, depending on whether you are attached to one school or more than one school, whether you are working in a primary school, secondary school, specialist unit like a Pupil Referral Unit or school for children with special needs or disabilities. You are most likely to work during term time only.

You will have a caseload of children and young people to follow. Your duties may include

  • Carrying out immunisations
  • Making developmental checks to find out if any child needs extra monitoring
  • Health screening and surveillance
  • Supporting vulnerable children and young people
  • Supporting children with medical or mental health conditions eg asthma
  • Answering queries from pupils
  • Trying to stop the take-up of potentially harmful habits, like smoking
  • Advising staff and pupils on healthy living
  • Advising staff on health issues
  • Helping out with PSHE lessons
  • Liaising with school staff and external agencies on child protection issues
  • Liaising with family, school staff and other agencies on health issues

Personal Qualities and Skills

Key skills required

  • You need to show rapport with children and young people
  • You must be happy to write reports
  • You will need to be able to work independently as well as working as part of a team
  • You need to be able to accept responsibility
  • You must be flexible

Pay And Opportunities

Typical employers

  • NHS trusts
  • Independent schools


Qualifications and training provided

A school nurse must be a qualified nurse, on the register of the Nursing and Midwifery Council. For some vacancies outside the NHS, this might be enough.

For most vacancies with NHS trusts and vacancies outside the NHS, you are required to have completed a postgraduate course in Specialist Community Health Nursing – School Nursing.

You will need evidence that you are of good character, so you will be asked for personal references and a certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS certificate) showing that there is no evidence that you have committed a crime that would make it inappropriate for you to work with children.

A clean car driving licence is usually required.

It may be helpful to speak or write Welsh if you wish to work in Wales.

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