How Much Does A School Nurse Make

Understanding the earning potential for school nurses is crucial for professionals in this field. Working in a school setting can be rewarding, but it’s important to know what kind of salary you can expect for your hard work and dedication.

In this article, we’ll explore the average salary range for school nurses in the United States and the various factors that can impact a school nurse’s compensation. We’ll also provide an overview of the pay scale for school nurses, highlight any salary increments or milestones that may exist, and discuss the additional benefits and perks that school nurses may receive along with their salary.

Finally, we’ll take a look at the potential for career growth and advancement within the field of school nursing and offer tips and advice for school nurses who are looking to negotiate a higher salary.

Key Takeaways:

  • Knowing the earning potential for school nurses is essential before entering the profession
  • The average salary range for school nurses in the United States can be influenced by years of experience, education level, and geographic location
  • Additional certifications, specialty areas, and job responsibilities can impact a school nurse’s compensation
  • School nurses may receive additional benefits and perks along with their salary, such as health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and professional development opportunities
  • Career growth and advancement opportunities exist within the field of school nursing and can lead to higher salaries

Average School Nurse Salary in the US

As of May 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average annual salary for school nurses in the United States is $50,980. This equates to an hourly rate of $24.51. However, the salary range for school nurses can vary widely depending on various factors.

Experience Level Annual Salary Hourly Rate
Less than 1 year $32,000 – $51,000 $15.38 – $24.52
1-4 years $32,000 – $59,000 $15.38 – $28.37
5-9 years $39,000 – $71,000 $18.75 – $34.14
10-19 years $46,000 – $82,000 $22.12 – $39.42
20 years or more $52,000 – $92,000 $25.00 – $44.23

Other factors that can influence a school nurse’s salary include their education level, geographic location, and the type of institution they work for. School nurses who have earned additional certifications or specialize in certain areas may also be eligible for higher salaries.

Average School Nurse Salary by State

The salary range for school nurses can also vary by state. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the states with the highest average annual salaries for school nurses include California, Alaska, Oregon, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. States with lower average salaries for school nurses include Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Arkansas.

Factors Affecting School Nurse Salary

When it comes to determining a school nurse’s compensation, several factors can come into play. While experience and education level are essential factors, other variables can impact a school nurse’s earnings. Here are some of the most prominent factors that can impact a school nurse’s compensation:

Factor Description
Additional Certifications Obtaining additional certifications in areas such as asthma management or diabetes education can increase a school nurse’s earning potential.
Specialty Areas Specializing in a particular area of school nursing, such as mental health or pediatric care, can also contribute to higher earnings.
Job Responsibilities A school nurse who takes on additional job responsibilities, such as supervising other nurses or providing training to staff, may receive higher compensation.

These factors, combined with experience and education, can help determine a school nurse’s overall compensation package. It’s important to keep in mind that the specifics of each school district’s pay scale may differ, so it’s essential to research the individual district’s compensation structure when considering a school nursing position.

Pay Scale for School Nurses

The pay scale for school nurses varies based on a number of factors, including experience, education, and location. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for registered nurses, including those who work in schools, is about $75,330 per year.

When breaking down the salary scale further, entry-level school nurses can expect to earn an average of $45,630 per year, while those with more experience can earn up to $106,530 per year. The level of education can also impact earning potential, with school nurses who hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) typically earning higher salaries than those with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN).

In addition to experience and education, the location of the school can also impact the salary scale. School nurses who work in areas with higher cost of living may earn more than those in lower cost areas. Similarly, school nurses who work for larger school districts or in more populated areas may also earn higher salaries.

Factors that Impact School Nurse Salary

While experience, education, and location are the primary factors that impact a school nurse’s salary, there are additional factors that can also play a role. School nurses who hold additional certifications or have specialized areas of expertise may be able to command higher salaries.

For example, a school nurse who also holds a certification in diabetes management or mental health may be able to negotiate a higher salary due to their specialized skills. Additionally, school nurses who take on leadership roles or additional responsibilities, such as managing a team of nurses, may also be able to earn higher salaries.

Overall, while the salary scale for school nurses may vary, it is important to keep in mind the impact of experience, education, location, and any additional certifications or specialized skills when negotiating compensation.

School Nursing Salary Range

The salary range for school nurses can vary depending on a number of factors, including experience, education level, and location. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for school nurses in the United States is around $50,000, with a range between $33,000 and $75,000 per year.

Salary ranges can be influenced by geographic location, with some areas paying higher rates than others. For example, school nurses in California tend to earn higher salaries than those in other states, with an average annual wage of approximately $77,000 according to ZipRecruiter.

In addition to location, experience and education levels can also play a role in determining salary ranges for school nurses. Those with more years of experience and higher levels of education may be able to command higher salaries. Some schools may also offer higher pay for nurses with specialized certifications or experience in certain areas of healthcare.

It should be noted that salary ranges can also vary depending on the type of school or district in which a school nurse works. For example, larger school districts may offer higher salaries than smaller districts, and private schools may have different compensation packages than public schools.

Benefits and Perks for School Nurses

Along with a competitive salary, many school nurses receive additional benefits and perks as part of their compensation package. These can include:

  1. Health Insurance: School nurses may receive health insurance coverage through their employer, which can help offset the cost of medical care for themselves and their families.
  2. Retirement Plans: Some school districts offer retirement plans for their employees, such as 401(k) or pension plans, which can help school nurses prepare for their future.
  3. Paid Time Off: School nurses may be eligible for paid time off, including sick days, vacation days, and holidays.
  4. Professional Development Opportunities: Many school districts provide opportunities for school nurses to attend conferences, workshops, and other training programs to help them expand their knowledge and skills.

These benefits can enhance a school nurse’s overall compensation package and provide added value beyond their salary.

“The health and well-being of students is at the core of the school nursing profession, and it’s important that these professionals are compensated fairly for their work.”

Flexible Schedules

Many school nurses enjoy the flexibility that comes with working in a school setting. School nurses typically work during school hours and have summers, weekends, and holidays off, allowing them to spend more time with their families or pursue other interests.

Work-Life Balance

One of the most appealing aspects of working as a school nurse is the opportunity to achieve a good work-life balance. School nurses typically work fewer hours than nurses in other settings, and they may have more control over their schedules, which can help reduce burnout and stress.

Overall, the combination of competitive salary and additional benefits and perks, along with a flexible schedule and good work-life balance, make school nursing an attractive career choice for many healthcare professionals.

Career Growth and Advancement Opportunities for School Nurses

While school nursing can be a rewarding career in and of itself, there are also many opportunities for growth and advancement within the field. School nurses who are looking to take their career to the next level can explore a range of options, including:

  • Specialized roles: Some school nurses may choose to specialize in specific areas, such as mental health, sports medicine, or critical care. These specialized roles can offer higher salaries and increased job satisfaction.
  • Leadership positions: School nurses who demonstrate strong leadership skills may be able to advance to management or supervisory roles within their school district or even at the state level.
  • Higher education: Pursuing additional education, such as a master’s degree in nursing, can open up new career paths and opportunities for higher salaries.

Furthermore, as the demand for school nurses continues to grow, so too does the need for skilled professionals who can take on new responsibilities and challenges. By staying up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in school nursing, as well as regularly seeking out new learning opportunities, school nurses can position themselves for long-term career success.

Comparison to Other Nursing Specialties

When comparing school nursing salaries to other nursing specialties, it is important to consider factors such as education level, years of experience, and location. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for registered nurses in the United States is $75,510 as of May 2020.

In comparison, the mean annual wage for school nurses during the same time period was $49,990. However, it is important to note that school nurses typically work fewer hours than other nursing professionals. This can impact the overall salary when comparing hourly rates.

Specialized nursing positions, such as nurse anesthetists or nurse practitioners, have higher earning potential due to their advanced education and specialized skills. The mean annual wage for nurse anesthetists was $189,190 as of May 2020, while nurse practitioners earned a mean annual wage of $111,680 during the same time period.

The Importance of Location

The location of a school nurse can also play a significant role in salary. In some areas, school nurses may earn higher salaries due to increased demand or cost of living. For example, school nurses in California have a mean annual wage of $77,880, while those in Texas have a mean annual wage of $48,360.

It is important for school nurses to research the average salaries in their specific location and take into account any additional benefits or perks that may be offered. This can help inform negotiations for a higher salary or help with decisions about relocating for better opportunities.

Advice for Negotiating a Higher Salary as a School Nurse

If you’re a school nurse looking to negotiate a higher salary, it’s important to be prepared and confident in presenting your case. Here are some tips to help you succeed:

  1. Know your worth: Start by researching the average salary range for school nurses in your area and consider your level of experience and education. This will give you a good idea of what’s reasonable to ask for.
  2. Showcase your skills: Highlight any additional certifications, specialized training, or experience you have that make you a valuable asset to the school district.
  3. Be open to negotiation: Be willing to compromise and find a solution that works for both you and the school district. This could include additional benefits or perks if a higher salary isn’t immediately feasible.
  4. Practice your pitch: Practice your negotiation skills beforehand and be prepared to clearly communicate your worth and why you deserve a higher salary.
  5. Be confident: Believe in yourself and the value you bring to the school district. Confidence can go a long way in negotiating a higher salary.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of successfully negotiating a higher salary as a school nurse. Remember to be prepared, confident, and open to compromise.

Job Outlook for School Nurses

The job outlook for school nurses is positive, with a projected growth rate of 7% from 2020 to 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As schools continue to recognize the importance of health and wellness for their students, the demand for school nursing services is expected to increase. This means that school nurses can expect more job opportunities and potentially higher salaries.

In addition, the growing trend towards telehealth services in schools may also have an impact on the job outlook for school nurses. More schools are exploring the use of telehealth technologies to provide health services to students remotely, which could create new career opportunities for school nurses with experience in telemedicine.

Resources for Finding School Nurse Salary Information

If you’re a school nurse looking for more information on salary ranges in your area, there are several resources available to help you. Here are a few places to start:

  • National Association of School Nurses (NASN): NASN offers salary and benefits data for school nurses, as well as career development resources and networking opportunities.
  • Glassdoor: This website provides information on salaries and job listings for a variety of professions, including school nursing. You can search for jobs in your area and get an idea of average salaries for different levels of experience.
  • This website allows you to search for salary data by job title and location. You can also browse job listings and get advice on negotiating higher salaries.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): The BLS provides data on employment trends and salary ranges for a wide range of professions, including nursing. You can find detailed information on salary ranges by state and city.

Remember, these resources are just a starting point. You may also want to speak with other school nurses in your area, as well as school administrators and HR professionals, to get a better idea of what to expect in terms of salary and benefits.


Understanding the earning potential for school nurses is crucial for anyone considering this career path. From the average salary range to the various factors that can impact compensation, we’ve explored the many facets of school nurse pay in this article.

The Importance of Negotiation

When it comes to increasing your salary as a school nurse, negotiation is key. By showcasing your skills, researching market rates, and effectively communicating your worth, you can greatly improve your earning potential.

Looking to the Future

With strong job growth projections and continued demand for school nursing services, the future looks bright for this profession. As you continue to develop your skills and experience, there are many opportunities for career growth and advancement.

Resources at Your Fingertips

For more information on school nurse salary ranges specific to your location, be sure to check out the many resources available online. These tools can help you compare salaries, negotiate effectively, and take control of your earning potential.

Overall, school nursing is a rewarding and fulfilling career with a bright future ahead. By understanding your earning potential and taking steps to improve it, you can build a successful and satisfying career in this field.

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