How Much Does A School Nurse Make A Year?

Becoming a school nurse is no small feat. Aside from a Bachelor of Science, Registered Nurse, or Bachelor of Nursing, you must also pursue a graduate-level degree or certificate program in school nursing.

School nursing is also a specialty, meaning if you hold a different RN or BSN, you will have to pursue a master’s degree to become a school nurse. 

School nurses work in the public sector and you will also need to become certified. The National Association of School Nurses offers certification and continuing education programs to help you stay up to date with current standards and best practices.

This article will give you more insight about school nurses, how much they make in a year, and a lot more about this profession.

Who is a School Nurse?

School nurses and their work are critical, especially for young children. They can treat a wide range of health problems and address a wide range of health issues.

From helping to treat injuries and illnesses to living with chronic conditions to educating students on how to live healthier lives, to making sure the school is safe for children and staff, school nurses do it all.

What’s more? school nurses are an integral part of the community, too.

They give back to the community by working with the police and fire departments to help kids, they provide care to students who aren’t able to access regular healthcare services through the school, and they act as the first point of contact for parents who have concerns about the health of their children.

Roles Of A School Nurse

The roles of a school nurse include:

  • To ensure that the schools’ health policy is following both local and national health news
  • To provide basic health care to students (in cases of injury or illness).
  • These schools establish health plans for those students with disabilities or chronic health conditions.
  • They educate staff and students on their health and healthy habits like hygiene, proper dieting, and the necessity of proper nutrition.
  • They perform regular screening to enable them to detect health issues at their early stages and provide solutions to the issues. 
  • They keep a record of the students’ vaccination history.
  • They also update the students’ medical histories.
  • They ensure that the school environment is safe for the children.

See also, How Much Does A Medical Coder Get Paid?

Where Can a School Nurse Work In?

According to the American Association of School Nurses (AASN), nearly 62%-of school nurses work in elementary schools, while around 25% work in secondary or middle/high schools.

At this point, things might start to get a little questionable because further down within the organization’s own statement, it shows that nearly 13% of all school nurses are working in both elementary and secondary levels of education.

Looks like the AASN gives a pretty vague description of what its figure actually represents!

That said, when positions become available at the chapter, state, and federal levels, AASN says its members may apply for these positions but will likely compete against non-members who also want to advance their careers.

It’s always nice to have options, especially regarding one as important as healthcare for children.

School nurse certification and licensing requirements can differ from one state or region to another. All states require that a school nurse is a registered nurse (RN).

In some states, other professionals will also be allowed to become school or student health nurses provided they are under the supervision of a registered professional nurse.

To find out what your state requires regarding registration and licensure, you should check with the regional branch of the National Association of School Nurses.

Again, school nurses play a critical role in the health and safety of students beyond the school day, especially when it comes to providing immunizations and screenings for various diseases such as lead poisoning, whooping cough, and scoliosis.

The requirements for becoming a school nurse are different from state to state, so you should once more contact the local branch of this association how to get more information about how exactly to go about meeting these qualifications and becoming certified if required.

How Much Does A School Nurse Make In A Year?

School nurses are well compensated for the work that they do! In terms of hourly wages, the average school nurse earns $29.20 an hour or $60,730 a year.

Other teachers at schools may make more money than they do but school nurses have one thing that most of their counterparts do not: health insurance and benefits.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), your salary as a school nurse is correlated to the geographical area that you choose to work in.

The highest-paid school nurses work on the West coast in California and Hawaii, earning an average mean annual salary of $88,290 and $84,250. 

Whenever a state has a higher cost of living index than others, people are only willing to pay more for services rendered at facilities there.

Similarly, the lowest-paid school nurses work on the East coast in Alabama, South Dakota, and Mississippi, earning an average mean annual salary of $53,610, $58,110, and $58.190.

After all, was said and done, these calculations were done using Area V III School Nurse Population Survey data from 2013.

Consider the case of nurses in California versus elsewhere in America. The state is widely known to be one of the most competitive when it comes to talent acquisition; it is also home to a large array of renowned universities and health organizations, many of which are seriously competing for the same number of skilled nursing candidates each year.

Starting up as a school nurse? Find out How Much Does a School Nurse Make?

Ways To Increase Your Salary As A School Nurse

A school nurse’s job is less stressful than a school hospital’s on several levels, including hours and pay.

On top of that, school nurses are less likely to suffer from physical ailments caused by their strenuous and taxing workload.

However, that being said, the average school nurse’s salary has much less to offer than the average hospital nurse’s salary. Here are various ways you can compensate for this loss in income and make ends meet:

Working at an after-school program:

Children with chronic health conditions in after-school activities require medication throughout the day. This can prove strenuous for volunteers not used to administering them.

Pay rates for nurses making house calls vary by state but are typically between $30 to $50 an hour, depending on the number and nature of the medications given.

  • If you’re looking for a way to supplement your income as an RN or LPN, register with staffing agencies like Kelley’s People or United Healthcare and Nursing to find per diem nursing placement.

    These agencies provide registered nurses and licensed practical nurses with assignments in local hospitals, urgent care clinics, and private healthcare facilities across the country! Per diem employees work when they want and when they need to.

    It’s perfect for a nurse who needs a few hours at certain points during the year without working full-time.

    When you complete your profile on any reputable site of this kind, expect to receive several offers from hospitals and healthcare facilities nationwide.

Obtain additional certifications

  • The National Board for Certification for School Nurses (NBCSN) offers credentials for school nurses.

    For you to be qualified to sit for the National Certificate Examination (NCE) for school nurses, you need to be a registered nurse having a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and must have accumulated the least 1000 hours of the school nurse experience.
  • You have to pursue a graduate degree:  Nearly 13% of all school nurses hold a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). With your school nurse salary, you could pursue an advanced degree to expand your job prospects or command higher pay.
  • Work during the summer: Schools who follow traditional academic calendars get a few months off during the summer and as Schools’ regional staff, you would be getting paid to do what you love most! Why not sign up for a camp counselor at one of your local schools?
  • You have a lot of experience under your belt, and you’re certainly qualified to write a book on the subject.

    We know writing is not easy – but at least you can make some extra money if it works outright? Consider that there might be limits or restrictions related to workplace disclosures, so check into what those stipulations are with your full-time employers beforehand.
  • As seen above, the average salary of school nurses depends entirely on where they are in the country. Remember, however, that in most public school districts, seniority is a major factor in determining pay grades.

    If you start a new job in a new location, your pay will likely be comparable to that of the lowest-paid nurse working for the district (which might not be such a bad thing!).

Frequently Asked Questions on How Much Does a School Nurse Make a Year?

Which Kind of Nurses Get the Highest Paid Salary

The kinds of nurses paid the highest salaries are family nurses, urgent care nurses, oncology nurses, orthopaedic nurses, cardiac nurses, emergency room nurses, neonatal nurses, and nurse anaesthetists.

How Much Do School Nurses Make?

In Ontario, CA, the average salary a school nurse get paid is $28.81 per hour and $9125 overtime annually. Most of the school nurses working in Ontario receive common benefits too.

As of March 22, the average school nurse salary in California was estimated to be $58,918 annually but the range was between $47,078 and $74,375.
School nurses get paid higher salaries in locations such as California and Hawaii. This is because the cost of living in these areas is 50% higher and 77% higher than throughout the U.S..

Can Anyone Register to Be a Nurse?

Yes, anyone can register to be a school nurse if the person is a registered nurse or midwife. Any branch of nursing is actually worthy of this profession.


How much does a school nurse make? Depending on the role, it can be enough to keep you afloat when it comes down to paying for living expenses.

However, as with many other careers in the healthcare industry, starting out can be quite difficult. But through tons of experience and compliance with licensing not to mention dedication, one can grow into even greater opportunities! 

As a nurse in a school setting, the amount you’re paid will vary from state to state and district to district depending on the patient population of that district. 



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