Time was when all local education authorities employed school nurses, but the position is now relatively rare in the state sector. However, some local councils do still employ them and private boarding schools hire school nurses to look after the children who live at the school during term time. School nurse positions offer perks such as great hours, a decent salary and summers off. As such, it's a competitive field. A little preparation and knowledge of what to expect in an interview can make the difference between getting the job or going back to the situations vacant ads.
Each school carries with it unique challenges, disadvantages and demographics. Research these factors to not only answer their questions but also to give educated questions of your own. For instance, if the school has a large intake of foreign students, prepare your ideas and plans for communicating with students and parents.
Become familiar with the laws in education, healthcare and child protection that effect children in school settings and be ready to answer questions about how you would handle new laws. For instance, in some schools, nurses are only permitted to use basic first aid supplies. How would you utilise such limitations? As school nurses not only treat, but teach on health, safety and nutrition, be ready to cite public speaking skills for large groups. Professional communication, computer and typing skills are a bonus and should be mentioned. Any paediatric and social work specialities should be stressed.
Expectations for a school nurse vary differently from school to school. Some nurses are expected to provide illness and injury assessments as well as paediatric nursing procedures. Ask questions to know the extent of the job at hand and if it fits your desires and skill sets.Become familiar with the available health curriculum and be prepared to suggest and express your preference during the interview.