Skills and qualities of a school nurse

Updated March 23, 2017

School nurses serve an important purpose within the school environment. These individuals must provide care and information to students and staff to assist them in maintaining or improving their health. While school nurses do not perform complex medical procedures within the confines of the school environment, the work that they do complete is important and helpful in the development a healthy school environment.

Listening skills

A school nurse must use her listening skills to respond attentively and appropriately to her student patients. Commonly, a student will describe the specifics of his malady, and the school nurse must process and respond to his description, providing him with any medical treatment necessary.

Sympathy and caring

The young patients that school nurses are commonly charged with tending to often require a sympathetic and caring individual to provide them not only with the treatment they require but also with a soothing touch and kind words. The school nurse can ensure that her patients remain calm and feel cared for by being kind to the pupils in her charge while providing necessary medical treatment.


School nurses must maintain the school health clinic and keep detailed accounts of student incidents. These health care providers are often responsible for completing incident reports to ensure that the details of an accident or injury are properly documented. Reports must be effectively filed so that they can be referenced later, should the need arise.

Problem solving skills

Student patients often do not provide the clearest descriptions of their medical problems. School nurses must be able to interpret these rudimentary explanations and determine what problem the student is experiencing as well as determine how to deal with this issue.

Scientific knowledge

While a school nurse does not perform complex health care procedures, he must still possess knowledge of an array of medical conditions and treatments to ensure that he can properly determine what illness a student is likely suffering from when he visits the clinic. The nurse must also be able to determine how to respond to an injury to ensure that the student is kept safe and that the injury is dealt with properly prior to the situation escalating. Additionally, because school nurses sometimes distribute prescription medication, they must be aware of proper dosage procedures and potential medication side effects so that they can assist should a medication induced problem arise.

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About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.