School Nurse Program

School nursing is a specialized practice of professional nursing that advances the well being, academic success, and life-long achievement of students. To that end, school nurses facilitate positive student responses to normal development; promote health and safety; intervene with actual and potential health problems; provide case management services; and actively collaborate with others to build student and family capacity for adaptation, self management, self advocacy, and learning.

As a school nurse, you will:
  • Respond first to illness and injury in the schools and bring a wealth of knowledge, skill and judgment to emerging situations;
  • Assure the health and safety of the school students and staff;
  • Care for and manage the chronic health conditions of students to keep them in class and ready to learn;
  • Assure student compliance with state and local regulations related to health and safety;
  • Manage disaster preparedness and emergency service plans;
  • Provide health education and staff wellness programs;
  • Serve as a member of the Multidisciplinary Team to identify the impact of health needs and determine and supervise medically-related recommendations.
  • Educate students in making decisions that contribute to their health and wellbeing.
The School Nurse Program is designed for Bachelor’s prepared, Registered Nurses who want to become licensed school nurses. Students who successfully complete the program will be endorsed for the Illinois State Board of Education Professional Educators License with School Nurse Endorsement.

The School Nurse Program prepares the candidate with background knowledge and experience in learning and special education content as well as specialty knowledge in the field of school nursing. The school nurse functions as a bridge connecting the educational world and the healthcare world of the student. Candidates will complete coursework in both the College of Education and the College of Nursing and Health Professions.

Retention in the program:
  • Candidates must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better in all graduate level courses in the program.
  • No course grade can be lower than a B.
  • Candidates must successfully take and pass the Illinois State Board of Education Content area test in School Nursing (182) prior to entering the School Nurse Internship course.
Completion of the program:
  • Candidates must successfully complete all required courses and evidence achievement of the Illinois Standards for the School Nurse.
  • This proposed program is consistent with the Illinois Nurse Practice Act as well as current state and national school nurse standards and guidelines.
  • Candidates must successfully complete all key assessments.
  • Candidates must have a successful experience in the school nurse internship.
School Nurse Curriculum (13 sem. hours total)
54-516 Learning Theories and Individual Development (3 sem. hrs.)
54-557-2 Exceptional Learners in Inclusive Communities (3 sem. hrs.)
52-507 Literacy for Other School Personnel (1 sem. hr.)
30-566 Issues in School Nursing (2 sem. hrs.)
30-567 School Nurse Internship (4 sem. hrs.)

54-516 Learning Theories and Individual Development, 3 sem. hours
This course presents developmental theories of behavior, language and learning. Students explore current research to develop their personal learning styles and discuss how they affect their interactions with children and adolescents in the school setting. The psychology of unique learners, identification of unique learners and strategies for teaching unique learners is a focus of this course. Students use a case study approach to explore the characteristics and learning needs of unique learns via the integration of developmental theory. Students are expected to develop a personal philosophy of education based on literature reviews and introspective essay.

54-557 Exceptional Learners in Inclusive Communities, 3 sem. hours
This course explores and develops strategies used to promote both the academic and social success of all students including those with high or low incidence disabilities, ELL, gifted and talented, and at-risk students. Teacher candidates will acquire an understanding and appreciation of diverse learner’s in today’s classroom. They will also develop a commitment to collaborative practices between special education and general education and how to utilize research based instructional strategies that create learning communities for all students.

Meeting the needs of students in our schools today requires future teachers to demonstrate preparedness in meeting the needs of all students. Creating curriculum for students of multiple ability levels to learn in inclusive communities is an essential skill for today’s teachers. This course is designed to increase ones understanding of the history of special education, disabilities, special education in schools today and expectations of general education teachers within inclusive settings.

52-507 Literacy for Other School Personnel, 1 sem. hour
This course will focus on essential aspects of literacy education in the P-12 schools, including what school personnel need to know about current practices in literacy instruction, assessment, and intervention. Particular emphasis will be placed on methods for developing student reading comprehension and addressing reading across the content disciplines. Candidates will gain an understanding of literacy acquisition, the language of disciplinary (content area) literacy, the role of affect and motivation in literacy learning, and the issues involved in helping students comprehend text for success in school and preparation for college and career.

30-566 Issues in School Nursing, 2 sem. hours
In this course, students review and synthesize coursework and prepare for internship experiences. The focus is on the legal and organizational aspects of the public schools, the administration of the school health program, the nurse’s role in the special education process, the role of the school nurse as an advocate for children, families and members of the school community and as a health educator. This course is taken prior to or concurrently with the school nurse internship.

Offered as a traditional seminar, five seminars of 6 hours each, and completion of online assignments and threaded discussion boards for the equivalent of 8 hours.

30-567 School Nurse Internship
In this supervised experience, the school nurse intern has the opportunity to explore school nursing methods, materials, and programs in public schools, community facilities and clinics. A seminar (“Issues in School Nursing”) is taken prior to or concurrently. Placement is in consultation with the Program Coordinator

Supervised practicum of no less than 300 hours or 50 days under the supervision of a faculty member and certified school nurse in a school setting with 2 face-to-face meetings.

Required learning experiences are designed to provide experiences relative to the school nurse content area standards.

For more information please contact the Office of Graduate and Adult Admission, (815)836-5610 or e-mail