School nurses provide healthcare and education to students in private and public schools. The requirements for a school nurse can vary from state to state and may require an advanced education such as a master’s degree in nursing, according to Nursing School Degrees. Some school systems require the nurse to have a certificate in school nursing to work with students. A teaching certificate may also be necessary to work as a school nurse. According to PayScale, the average salary for a school nurse is between $32,348 and $51,375 as of December 2010.
The salary of a school nurse rises with the years she has on the job. A school nurse with 10 to 19 years of experience earns an average salary of $32,702 to $52,741 while those with one to four years earn an average of $28,836 to $44,898, according to PayScale. Experienced school nurses become skilled at working with children.
The location the school nurse practices in can affect the salary she earns. For example, nurses working in New York earn an average up to $52,273 while those working in Virginia earn up to $42,268 on average. The cost of living in Richmond is 35 percent lower than in New York City, according to Sperling's.
States may require certification for school nurses, but the salary range of a Certified School Nurse earns a higher average salary between $44,367 and $68,681. School nurses can also be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and advanced cardiac life support, which may enhance their earning opportunities. Certifications may be necessary for employment in some school districts and the requirements for a position can be found with the board of education in each state.
School districts and employers offer nurses benefits such as health insurance, paid vacations, holidays, retirement plans and paid sick time. An employer offers benefits to school nurses to attract skilled professionals to positions.