What It Takes to Be a School Nurse, Therapist or School Professional
Like most jobs in the healthcare industry, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics project that job opportunities for school professionals, nurses and therapists are expected to be plentiful for the next ten years. If you are looking to direct your teaching, psychology, counseling, nursing or therapy career toward the school setting, there are some things you need to know. Let’s review some of the special certifications that are needed to work in schools.
Registered Nurse. In addition to an RN license, many school districts require nurses to pass the National Board for Certification of School Nurses’ (NBCSN) certification exam. The exam focuses on health appraisal, nursing management, disease prevention, special issues, and professional issues. Options in a nursing specialty within a school can be 1:1 or Health Nurse; different skills may be required.
Physical Therapy. To work as a physical therapist in a school setting, besides earning your undergraduate degree and passing the National Physical Therapy Examination, occasionally a certification in pediatrics is required. The specialist certification is earned through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.
Occupational Therapy. Occupational Therapists must complete their Master’s Program and then pass the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy certification exam. To work in a school setting, it is recommended and occasionally requested that OTs complete the board certification in pediatrics through the American Occupational Therapy Association.
Speech Language Pathologist. To become an SLP, you will have to complete a Master’s Degree program and obtain your state license. Then work to earn your Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Credentialing involves a postgraduate clinical fellowship, 1,260 hours of clinical practice, and passing the Praxis Series test.
School Psychologist. To work in a school setting as a Psychologist, you will first earn your graduate degree and depending on the state, you may need to earn an Educational Specialist degree. After your degree work is done, you must seek a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) designation through the National Association of School Psychologists.
In addition to all of the schooling outlined above, working with children in the schools requires a plethora of training and various certifications which may vary from district to district. Pediatric certifications are common, as well as Special Education certifications, and even Teacher certifications in some instances. The commitment it takes is quite evident for all types of school clinicians.
Other types of continuing education and training include subject matter across the entire spectrum of care. These may include SKIP Training (Services for Kids in Primary Care), SETT (School Emergency Triage Training), Child Abuse, Seizures, First Responder, Autism Spectrum, Suicide Awareness and Prevention, Food Allergies, Psychology interventions, and dozens of others.
If you are interested in learning about job opportunities in the school settings, contact the Supplemental Health Care School Division today. We have available positions nationwide, and our team of professionals can help you determine what it takes for a successful career in schools.