School Nurse Certification

EMU Lancaster offers a school nurse certification program newly approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The purpose of the School Nurse Certification Program is to prepare registered nurses to meet the health needs of children of all ages in diverse school settings. This post-baccalaureate program consists of 13 credits of coursework, including a practicum, leading to a certificate as a Level I Educational Specialist-School Nurse. Courses are offered online and in a blended format. This certification program can be taken as part of the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with the school nurse track or independent of the MSN. Upon completion of the School Nurse Certificate curriculum, students are eligible to apply for the School Nurse Certificate (Education Specialist I) issued by the Pennsylvania (PA) Department of Education. (Note: BSN and valid registered nurse license from PA are required)

Required Courses

NURS 504: School Nursing: Legal Mandates – 3 semester hours
This course examines the roles and responsibilities of school nurses and the laws governing the practice of school nursing. The importance of the school nurse’s responsibility to promote the health of students, enhance their ability to learn, and promote health among school personnel will be emphasized in this course. Current legal issues in school health as well as emerging roles and responsibilities of School Nurses will also be explored.

EDDS 601: Advocacy Issues Within Special Education – 3 semester hours
This course is designed to assist the teacher/nurse practitioner in recognizing the impact and importance of decision-making and the dynamics of advocacy. This course includes, but is not limited to, current topics in special education, self-determination by and for students, development of the essential professional advocacy competencies, advocating for students with special needs, the rights of children, and the inclusive setting. Students will participate in an exploration of advocacy websites, develop a wiki or brochure to use in their professional practice when working with families and colleagues, and develop a personal position on advocacy.

NURS 505: School Nursing: Theory and Diverse Learners – 3 semester hours
This course examines the roles and responsibilities of the school nurse in relation to promotion, restoration, and maintenance of health of school children. Management and evaluation of coordinated school health programs are discussed with an understanding for the need for outcome criteria. Principles of community health are applied. Significant emphasis will be placed on accommodations and adaptations for diverse learners.

NURS 506: School Nursing: Practicum – 4 semester hours
This course follows the School Nursing: Theory and Diverse Learners course. In addition to the on-line learning activities, students will complete a 120 hour clinical practicum in various school settings. The dissemination of hours is as follows: 30 hours in the elementary setting, 30 hours in the middle school setting, 30 hours in the high school setting and 30 hours with the diverse learner population. Clinical practicum assignments are individually planned with the approval of the course instructor.

Certification of Program Requirements

  • BS in Nursing or BSN reflected in official transcripts
  • Minimum of a 2.8 GPA for admission, with a 3.0 GPA maintained during program
  • Current licensure as a registered nurse in Pennsylvania with 2000 hours of experience
  • 3 credits of health assessment
  • Proof of current:
    CPR certification
    • Immunizations and tuberculin testing
  • Documentation of current:
    ACT 151 criminal history check
    • 114 FBI clearance, including fingerprinting
    ACT 34 child abuse clearance forms
  • Visit Pennsylvania Department of Education website for details on school nurse certification

Approximate total cost:

4 courses $6,200
Fees $125
TOTAL $6,325

For more information contact:

Laura J. Aponte
Assistant Director, RN to BS in Nursing
Office phone: 717-397-5190
Email: