What is a Campus Nurse?

A school or campus nurse is a registered nurse who works for a college, university, or school district.

These healthcare professionals use their knowledge and expertise to educate students about essential healthcare practices.

They also promote better healthcare standards through lectures, seminars, group events, and other promotional activities.

What Do Campus Nurses Do?

There are numerous responsibilities campus nurses must manage to ensure the health and safety of their community. It includes reviewing and creating healthcare policies, discussing better healthcare standards, and conducting local research trends.

Campus nurses also create educational material, perform health screenings, provide medical care to students and faculty members, and monitor trending healthcare issues, among other community-based healthcare work.

As stated earlier, campus nurses concentrate partly on improving education. As a result, they may participate in student lectures or events to educate students about various topics.

It includes safe sex, proper nutrition and exercise, adequate rest, a healthy lifestyle, and managing family healthcare.

Campus nurses play a vital role in the healthcare of the communities and schools they serve. By educating students and promoting family health, campus nurses empower their communities and minimize the spread of disease and infections.

Accordingly, these healthcare professionals help the people of their community lead healthier lives.

Campus Nurse Responsibilities:

  • Study community health trends
  • Create health-related education materials
  • Familiarize students/communities with healthcare practices
  • Develop and Implement healthcare plans
  • Review and implement health policies
  • Perform nursing assessments and check-ups
  • Prepare students for medical examinations
  • Provide walk-in and scheduled student appointments
  • Participate in school lectures and programs
  • Provide mandatory screenings
  • Administer permitted medications
  • Provide treatments for injuries and illnesses
  • Respond to campus medical emergencies
  • Provide students/faculty with personal health counseling
  • Maintain and order campus medical supplies
  • Review, update and maintain healthcare records
  • Assist students/faculty with special healthcare needs
  • Advocate for better healthcare standards and procedures

Student Education

Student and faculty education is one of the essential campus nurse roles.

These healthcare professionals conduct research, study health trends and look for ways to minimize healthcare risks.

They also educate students/communities about healthcare practices using refined data, lectures, and health programs.

Finally, campus nurses may provide information to communities and offer personal health counseling for students and faculty.

By researching data and providing health information, campus nurses reduce the spread of illness and other health issues.

Policy Review and Implementation

Campus nurses always look for new ways to implement applicable school policies to improve safety and healthcare practices.

As a result, these specialists review existing policies and make valuable changes or advise on beneficial policy alterations.

Improving school healthcare policies enables campus nurses to positively influence the entire community’s health.

Even small changes can significantly reduce the spread of germs, viruses, and illnesses.

Direct Medical Care

Campus nurses are highly trained registered nurses.

As a result, they often provide walk-in and scheduled health screenings, check-ups, and examinations.

They also administer medications, review and update medical records, perform first aid and treat minor injuries/illnesses.

Campus nurses assist students/faculty with getting treatment at a hospital/urgent care facility for complex injuries/illnesses.

How to Become a Campus Nurse

Becoming a campus nurse requires years of education, dedication, and discipline.

However, those who join this occupation have a tremendous opportunity to impact their community’s health and well-being positively.

Aspiring campus nurses must join a nursing program, obtain a BSN and Pass the NCLEX-RN to obtain licensure.

They must also gain valuable clinical experience and get certified to provide the best chances to excel in this profession.

The following section explores the steps individuals must complete to become campus nurses.

1. Join a Nursing Program

The first step to becoming a campus nurse is to join a nursing program.

Students must complete numerous prerequisite courses to gain acceptance into the nursing program.

They must also maintain a satisfactory GPA due to nursing school provisions and competition.

It takes roughly 1 – 2 years to complete the nursing school prerequisites, depending on the student’s prior education.

After completing the prerequisite courses, students can apply for the nursing program.

Nevertheless, some nursing programs enable students to apply one semester early to get a head start on their application.

Applying to multiple nursing programs is also beneficial to maximize your acceptance odds.

Gaining acceptance into nursing school can be challenging depending on completion, seating, and the universities reputation.

2. Obtain a BSN

Students accepted into the nursing program must acquire a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

It takes approximately 36 – 48 months to complete the nursing program.

During the program, students receive a comprehensive education on nursing practice and other related subjects.

The extensive education program ensures future registered nurses have sufficient training to succeed in numerous disciplines.

That said, some registered nurses pursue an 18 – 24 month ADN degree to enter the healthcare field quickly.

It enables them to gain nursing experience fast and earn money while continuing their education to obtain a BSN.

Accordingly, an online nursing program is fantastic for working registered nurses who want to further their careers.

3. Pass the NLCEX-RN

Upon completing the nursing program and acquiring a BSN, graduates must complete the NCLEX-RN exam.

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing administers the exam.

This exam ensures graduates have sufficient education and training to work effectively and competently as registered nurses in entry-level positions.

Completing the NLCEX-RN is also necessary to obtain state licensure for legal practice.

4. Gain Experience

After acquiring licensure, registered nurses can begin working to develop clinical experience.

Working in direct care is vital to developing hands-on experience, critical assessment, and analytical skills, 

It’s also fundamental for learning how to perform different healthcare procedures, treat patients, and coordinate with staff.

Registered nurses must cultivate 1,000 hours of clinical experience to take the NBCSN exam.

Alternatively, they can acquire three years of full-time academic experience.

The accumulated experience helps prepare registered nurses for obtaining certification as school nurses.

5. Get Certified

The final step to becoming a campus nurse is to obtain NBCSN certification.

Registered nurses must acquire 1,000 hours of clinical experience or three years of full-time academic experience.

Candidates must also satisfy their state’s requirements to become school nurses.

The National Board for Certification of School Nurses administers the NBCSN examination.

It tests the competencies of registered nurses to ensure they have sufficient training to work effectively in this discipline.

It also signifies their expertise and commitment to professionalism, education, and medical care to employers.

The Importance of Campus Nurses

The duties and obligations of campus nurses vary depending on the school and their specific needs.

Some school districts, colleges, and universities hire campus nurses to provide education, research, and prevention.

Others hire them to deliver student/faculty medical care, treatments, and interventions for common illness and injuries.

Nevertheless, all campus nurses provide healthcare education, policy planning/execution, research, and medical care.

Campus nurses must be self-empowered, highly educated, and well-organized to perform their duties effectively.

They must also have a strong desire to help others, be excellent leaders, and take action on critical health issues.

The information and interventions they provide affect the health of hundreds or thousands of people who depend on them.

Accordingly, schools and communities would have difficulty educating students about healthcare without campus nurses.

They would also struggle to assist those requiring medical attention and prevent possible healthcare risks.

Additional Resources: