Why Do I Need a School Nurse Certification?

Depending on the state (and even the school), school nurse certification may be required. The National Association of School Nurses provides resources for those who need to find out what the requirements are for each state. However, requirements aside, it's prudent to obtain certification as it can demonstrate the nurse:

  • Is familiar with school policy and education laws
  • Can recognize how illness or injury can affect learning
  • Can address children's physical as well as psychosocial needs on an individualized level based on development
  • Can recognize and address public health issues
  • Is recognized as a formally trained, credentialed, school nurse

Where Can I Get a School Nurse Certification?

School nurse certification can be obtained through the following organization:

National Board for Certification of School Nurses (NBCSN)

Certificate Name: Nationally Certified School Nurse Credential

Credential Awarded: Nationally Certified School Nurse Credential (NCSN)


  • $370 (early-bird; up to 2 weeks before application deadline)
  • $390 (regular; during the last 2 weeks of application window)
  • $440 (late; after the deadline window)

Certification Requirements & Eligibility

The requirements to become certified through the NBCSN include:

  • Applicant must furnish a copy of their RN license
  • Submission of transcripts or proof of a BSN or equivalent or a bachelor's degree or higher in a related field
  • Have worked a minimum of 1,000 hours in the last three years prior to the examination (either direct or indirect clinical practice)
  • Complete the application and pay the required fee. The application cut-off date is 30 days prior to the start of the testing window.

Aside from the NBCSN, some universities and colleges have continuing education programs that offer school nurse credentialing. For example, California State University, Sacramento offers a continuing education school nurse program as well as an MSN option. Those interested in earning a school nurse credential can search for local universities for offerings.

See All Nursing Certifications

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