School Nurse Certification Program

EMU Nursing offers a School Nurse Certification Program (SNCP) 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 postbaccalaureate program consists of 12 credits of coursework, including a practicum, leading to a certificate as a Level I Educational Specialist-School Nurse in Pennsylvania.

Courses are offered online. This certification program can be taken as part of the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with the leadership and school nurse concentration or independent of the MSN. For students wishing to pursue an MSN, the certification program provides an easy transition into the MSN Leadership and School Nurse concentration. Since courses are offered online and in a blended format this program can be accessible to all nurses from any state.

We strongly encourage you to investigate the prerequisites for school nurses in your state before applying to make sure this program meets the requirements.

Upon completion of the School Nurse Certification Program curriculum, students who are RN’s in Pennsylvania, are eligible to apply for the School Nurse Certificate (Education Specialist I) issued by the Pennsylvania (PA) Department of Education. The PA DOE requires conversion to an Education Specialist Level II certificate within six service years as a Certified School Nurse.

Required Courses for School Nurse Certification

The School Nurse Certification Program courses are offered in sequence annually beginning with the Summer Semester. This certificate program begins with a mandatory two day orientation session in Lancaster, PA on Friday and Saturday, May 15 & 16, 2020.

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.

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, evaluation, and outcomes of coordinated school health programs are discussed. Principles of community health are applied. Significant emphasis will be placed on accommodations and adaptations for diverse learners. Prerequisite: NURS 504

NURS 506: School Nursing: Practicum – 3 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. Prerequisites: NURS 504 and NURS 505

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.

Certification Program Requirements

  • Bachelors degree in any field
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA for application. Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 will be considered on an individual basis and may be required to demonstrate academic ability prior to enrolling in the program.
  • Current licensure as a registered nurse in Pennsylvania.

For more information contact:

Carolyn Kirby, MSN, RN
School Nurse Certification Program Coordinator
Eastern Mennonite University in Lancaster, PA
Office phone: 717-690-8616

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