School Nurse Certification

School Nurse Certification

The Department of Nursing at Millersville University offers a school nurse certification option approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. All course content and time offerings are designed to meet the needs of the student, as well as State standards for certification. The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has made revisions in the admission and completion criteria for certification programs. As of the Fall 2001 semester, the school nurse certification program is a POST BACCALAUREATE CERTIFICATION PROGRAM. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and current licensure as a Registered Nurse in this state are required for certification of School Nurse Candidates. This program has been approved for meeting the Chapter 49: Accommodations and Adaptations for Diverse Learners in Inclusive Settings and English Language Learners requirements (PDE-2/29/2012).

The following are required for admission in addition to completion of the Graduate Admissions Application packet:

Undergraduate evidence of:

NURS 360: Assessment & Diversity (4 s.h.)
NURS 421: Population-focused Nursing (5 s.h.)
BIOL 256: Nutrition (3 s.h.)
PSYC 227: Development of the Child and Adolescent (3 s.h.)
or PSYC 228: Lifespan Development (3 s.h.)
MATH 130: Elements of Statistics (3 s.h.)
ENGL 110: Composition (3 s.h.)
GPA at graduation 3.0

Admission into Certification Program

Applicants desiring admission to Millersville University should:

  1. Complete the admission graduate application at: and submit with the fee, undergraduate transcripts, and letters of recommendation to the Graduate and Professional Studies, Millersville University, PO Box 1002, Millersville, PA 17551 (717-871-4723).

Upon admission to the School Nurse Certification Program, contact the coordinator (717-871-4274) for advisement to discuss the program and course selection. The nursing department will send a packet of materials, which must be completed and returned to the Department prior to starting the first semester.

They include:

  • Millersville University Department of Nursing Affiliated Student Infectious Disease Summary for School Nurse Certification Students. (Includes most current immunizations for: hepatitis B; diphtheria/tetanus; tuberculosis; varicella, rubella/rubeola; and polio)
  • Biographical Information Sheet
  • Copy of Nursing License
  • Copy of Malpractice Insurance ($1,000,000/$3,000,000 aggregate coverage)
  • Copy of CPR Card
  • Act 34 Child Abuse Clearance
  • Act 151 Criminal History Check
  • Act 114 – FBI Fingerprinting ( PDE option)

Completion of the Certification Requirements

Graduate evidence of:

EDFN 545: Advanced Educational Psychology; Offered spring, summer, and fall with 1 online section/each semester
NURS 560: School Nursing (5 s.h.); 3 hr class and 7.5hr clinical; blended class 50% online (fall only) Clinical arrangements must be in place by June 1st; classroom instruction starts the beginning of August.
SPED 601: Psychological Aspects of Individuals With Disabilities (offered summer)
GPA 3.0: Completion of all certification requirements.

Upon completion of the requirements, an application must be submitted electronically through the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS). Supporting documentation pertaining to certification will be sent by the applicant directly to the state per the instructions in TIMS. A Level I certification will be awarded by the Department of Education. See Act 48 for continuing education requirements web site:

See Pennsylvania Department of Educational Regulations for Level II certification criteria. Website:

Required Course Descriptions

Click here to view the Graduate Catalog course descriptions

School Nurse Certification Competencies

  • Based on NASN Standards of Practice (2011)

1-6.  QUALITY OF CARE:  The school nurse uses a systematic approach to problem-solving in nursing practice.  The school nurse utilizes the nursing process when providing care for school-age youth.

  • Uses appropriate techniques, collects and documents information regarding students, families, staff members, health care providers, organizations, and/or the community in a systematic, continuous manner;
  • Analyses assessment data to facilitate the development of a plan of care which is a component of the individual program for students with special health care needs and developed in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations, as needed.
  • The plan is collaboratively developed with the student, family, school staff, community and other providers, as appropriate and reflects current standards of school nursing practice by providing continuity of care with the plan of action to be taken.  Priorities for care/action and a timeline for interventions are established.  The plan is documented in a retrievable form.
  • Identifies expected outcomes and are culturally appropriate in relation to the client's present and potential capabilities.
  • Uses health promotion and health teaching methods appropriate to situation and values, beliefs and health practices, development level, learning needs, readiness & ability to learn, and language preference.  Uses social media to communicate health promotion and disease prevention information.
  • Participate in needs assessment for health education, as well as, health counseling to promote health, wellness, self-care and safety to the school community.
  • Executes and adequately documents the interventions noted in the plan of care.
  • Systematically and continually appraises client responses to prescribed interventions and the efficacy of interventions in relation to developed outcomes.  Revises plan as appropriate.


7.  ETHICS:  The school nurse's decisions and actions on behalf of clients are determined in an ethical manner.

  • The school nurse's practice is guided by the Code for Nurses (ANA) and the Code of Ethics with Interpretive Statements for School Nurses (NASN), and appropriate state nurse practice acts (PA Code for Professional Practice and Conduct of Educators)
  • The school nurse maintains client confidentiality within legal, regulatory, and ethical parameters of health and education and delivers care in a nonjudgmental and nondiscriminatory manner that is sensitive to student diversity in the school community.
  • The school nurse delivers care in a manner that promotes and preserves student and family autonomy, dignity, and rights by seeking available resources to formulate ethical decisions while acting as a client advocate.

8.  EDUCATION:  The school nurse acquires and maintains current knowledge and competency in school nursing practice.  Identify:

  • The process by which the school nurse acquires knowledge and competence of the specialty practice of school nursing on a regular and ongoing basis.  The SN consistently participates in continuing education activities related to current clinical knowledge and professional issues and seeks experiences to maintain current clinical skills and competence.  Maintains professional records that provide evidence of competency and life-long learning.  Expands clinical knowledge, skills, abilities, and judgment to enhance role performance by incorporating current research.

9.  EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE & RESEARCH:  The school nurse promotes the use of research findings in school nursing practice.

  • Integrates current evidence-based nursing knowledge, including research findings, to guide practice.
  • Incorporates evidence when initiating changes in school nursing practice.  Uses research findings in the development of policies, procedures, and standards of care/clinical guidelines in practice and the development of health programs.
  • Shares research findings with colleagues and peers.  Disseminates research findings through activities such as presentations & publications on a local, state & national level.  Participates in research activities as appropriate.

10. QUALITY OF PRACTICE:  The school nurse participates in quality assurance activities as appropriate to that individual's position and practice environment.

Such activities may include:

  • Identification of aspects of care necessary for quality monitoring.
  • Incorporates evidence to develop policies, procedures, and practice guidelines to improve the quality of care.  (Review currency and adequacy).
  • Collection of data to monitor quality and effectiveness of nursing care.
  • Formulation of recommendations to improve school nursing practice or client outcomes.
  • Analyzing factors related to quality, safety, and effectiveness including: organizational systems for barriers to quality healthcare consumer outcomes.  Implementing processes to remove or decrease barriers within organizational systems.
  • Implementation of activities to enhance the quality of nursing practice.
  • Evaluates effectiveness using appropriate tools to monitor the quality & effectiveness of school nursing practice.

11.  COMMUNICATION:  The school nurse uses effective written, verbal, and nonverbal communication skills.

  • Communicates effectively with the student, family, school staff, community and other providers regarding student care and role of the school nurse in the provision of care.
  • Employs counseling technique and crisis intervention strategies for individuals (or observes the use of)
  • Employs effective expressive and receptive verbal skills demonstrating good listening ability that reflects cultural sensitivity and clear, concise written communication.
  • Tools and consultation used to communicate with ELL students/parents.

12.  LEADERSHIP:  The school nurse demonstrates leadership in the professional practice setting, as well as, the profession.

  • Incorporates the vision and mission of the school organization when planning care, and implementing and measuring the progress of an individual student;
  • Mentors colleagues for the advancement of nursing practice, the profession, and quality healthcare.  Treats colleagues with respect, trust, and dignity;
  • Participates in school nursing, school health, and other professional organizations by serving in formal and informal leadership roles in professional organizations and committees at local, state, and national levels;
  • Participates in committees, councils, or administrative teams in the school or other setting such as school health advisory councils and Section 504 teams.

13. COLLABORATION:  The school nurse collaborates with the student, family, and school staff, community and other providers in providing student care.

  • The school nurse collaborates with the student, family, school staff, community, and other providers in the formulation of overall goals, timelines, the plan of care, and decisions related to care and delivery. (IEP and Section 504 Accommodations)
  • Assists individual students in developing appropriate skills to advocate for themselves, based on age and developmental level.
  • Collaborates with healthcare consumers and healthcare providers regarding the school nurse's role in the provision of that care.  Functions as a liaison between the family, school, and community.

14. PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE EVALUATION:  The school nurse evaluates own nursing practice in relation to professional practice standards and relevant statutes, regulations, and policies.  Identify:

  • Participates in performance appraisal on a regular basis, identifying areas of strength, limitations, and goals.  Practice reflects knowledge of current professional practice standards, education and healthcare laws and regulations, and school policies.  Maintains professional responsibility, accountability & behavior.

15. RESOURCE UTILIZATION:  The school nurse utilizes appropriate resources to plan & provide nursing services that are safe, effective, & financially responsible.

  • Evaluates safety, effectiveness, availability, and cost when choosing among two or more practice options that would result in the same expected client or program outcomes.  Uses available evidence when evaluating resources.
  • Assists the student, family, school staff, and community in identifying and securing appropriate and available services including: adapting resources, inclusive of technology, to modify practice in order to promote a positive interface between healthcare consumer and care provider.

16. ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH:  The school nurse practices in an environmentally safe & healthy manner to assist students, families and the school community to achieve optimal levels of wellness.

  • Attains and maintains current knowledge of environmental health concepts.  Uses scientific evidence to determine whether a product or treatment is a potential environmental threat;
  • Facilitates the assessment of the practice environment for factors that negatively affect health in the school setting including: physical, psychological and emotional.

17.  PROGRAM MANAGEMENT:  The school nurse manages school health services.

  • Conducts school health needs to identify current health problems and identify the need for new programs;
  • Develops, implements, and evaluates needed health programs and policy based on the impact on the students and local, state, and federal law governing each;
  • Develops and implements health policies and procedures in collaboration with school administrators, the department of health and education; including emergency preparedness plan; utilizing technology to optimum capacity.