School Nursing

The Relentless School Nurse: How School Nurses Can Help Ourselves to Stay

Creator: FatCamera – Credit: Getty Images


The past few days have seen several disturbing headlines about the state of school nursing that do not bode well for our future. Here are some of the articles that prompted this blog post, as a counter-balance to the negative findings:

Are School Nurses The Next Target of Moms For Liberty? A recent Twitter post from the group says all health care in schools should be banned. Ron Filipkowski


School nurses top list of unhappiest nursing jobs in U.S.The rankings looked at a number of different factors, including salary, potential for upward mobility, stress level, and work-life balance.

In the midst of the negative headlines, I found an open-access research article from our neighbors in Norway. This article gave me hope for the future of school nursing and also gave me a glimpse into a high-functioning school nursing workforce. We can learn from our colleagues in other countries. 

What school nurses receive for themselves that influences their remaining in practice: A qualitative study – Linda Horne Mæland, Bjørg Frøysland Oftedal & Margareth Kristoffersen

Here are some lessons I gleaned:

As school nurses, we can regain our sense of purpose and job satisfaction by incorporating the themes of “Gaining Interesting Workdays” and “Attaining Pleasure for Ourselves” into our professional lives (Mæland et al., 2023). These themes highlight the factors that have contributed to our job satisfaction and fulfillment, as identified in the article:

  1. Having an Attractive Scope of Practice: We find purpose and satisfaction in our work by recognizing the unique scope of practice we have within the school setting. Our role involves promoting a healthy lifestyle among students and preventing more serious health problems. Seeing our work as an opportunity for early intervention and positively influencing young lives gives meaning and purpose to our daily tasks.

  2. Embracing Varied Tasks: We can regain job satisfaction by embracing the variety of tasks we encounter during our workdays. From individual consultations to teaching sessions and interdisciplinary collaborations, each task offers us a chance to make a difference in students’ lives. Seeing these diverse challenges as positive opportunities for personal and professional growth keeps our work interesting and prevents feelings of boredom or burnout.

  3. Being Trusted and Receiving Responses: Building trustful relationships with students and parents is essential for us to derive pleasure from our work. When students consider us as reliable individuals to whom they can confide their concerns, feelings, illnesses, and family issues, it affirms our value and impact on their lives. Experiencing positive responses, such as expressions of gratitude or gestures of appreciation, reinforces our sense of success and fulfillment in our roles.

  4. Finding Meaning in Making a Difference: Recognizing the impact we have on students’ lives gives us a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in our profession. Knowing that our efforts contribute to the well-being of students and the community serves as a driving force to remain in the practice even during challenging times.

  5. Seeking Opportunities for Learning and Growth: Embracing opportunities for learning and professional development enhances our job satisfaction. Collaborating with interdisciplinary teams and sharing experiences with other professionals can enhance our skills and knowledge, leading to a sense of growth and achievement.

  6. Emphasizing the Positive Aspects: We can foster a sense of satisfaction by focusing on the positive aspects of our work and our contributions to students’ health and well-being. Celebrating successes and acknowledging the value of our role in the school community help combat feelings of dissatisfaction.

  7. Self-Care and Well-being: Maintaining our own well-being is essential for us to find joy and fulfillment in our work. Prioritizing self-care practices, setting boundaries, and seeking support from peers and supervisors contribute to our overall job satisfaction.

By incorporating these strategies into our daily practice, we can regain our sense of purpose and job satisfaction as school nurses, even in the face of challenges like those posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Embracing the uniqueness of our role, finding pleasure in our interactions with students and colleagues, and seeking opportunities for growth allows us to continue making a positive impact on the lives of students and feel fulfilled in our chosen profession. 

What would you add to complete this list? Please share your responses by commenting on this blog post, or email me at


Mæland, L., Oftedal, B.F. & Kristoffersen, M. What school nurses receive for themselves that influences their remaining in practice: A qualitative study. BMC Nurs 22, 77 (2023).



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