School Nurse Certification Exam Review

The School Nurse certification indicates specialization in the care of school-age patients with an emphasis on nursing care and interventions of those specific problems which affect this population. School Nurses are employed by school districts to provide nursing care and medication administration within the elementary and secondary schools, as well as at the collegiate level.

In order to take the School Nurse certification exam, the applicant must be a licensed Registered Nurse who is currently employed in the field of school nursing. Though not required, it is recommended that the RN completes at least 3 years of employment as a School Nurse before taking the certification exam.

Once the application for the School Nurse certification exam has been processed, a 2-week window will be assigned in which the RN can take the exam. This 2-week window is available in the Winter and Summer only. The exam is offered at testing centers throughout the United States. The fee to take the School Nurse certification exam is $275 for all applicants.

The School Nurse certification exam consists of 250 multiple-choice questions and the RN is allotted 4 hours in which to complete the exam. The exam tests the RN's knowledge of the health problems that may commonly be seen in the school setting, along with nursing assessment and appropriate interventions in this population. There are also questions pertaining to ethical and professional issues.

The School Nurse certification is valid for 5 years. At the end of that time period, the licensed RN should have completed at least seventy-five (75) contact hours for recertification by continuing education. The fee to recertify is $175.

For more information regarding the School Nurse certification for licensed RNs, go to the National Board for Certification of School Nurses web page at or the National Association of School Nurses web page at

Nursing Certification Central

School Nurse Certification Practice Questions

1. An 11-year-old female student presents to the school nurse with lower abdominal pain. She does not have a fever and is not sick to her stomach. Which statement describes the school nurse's knowledge of this age group?

  1. They fake stomach aches often and should be sent back to class
  2. It is okay to give pain medications for abdominal pain
  3. This age group may be ready to start menstruating and a call home to a parent is advised
  4. None of the above

2. The nurse is called to the gym for a student who is feeling lightheaded. The nurse notes that the child is pale and diaphoretic. His initial pulse rate is more than 180. What is the first action the nurse should take?

  1. Reassure the child, apply cool rags to the forehead, reassess, and be prepared to call the parents and 911
  2. Scream for someone to call 911 now
  3. Excuse the student from gym for the remainder of the period
  4. Excuse the student from gym for the remainder of the week

3. Which actions would be appropriate if the same student is complaining of stomach aches every morning?

  1. Report the child to Child Protective Services
  2. Ignore the complaints and send the student back to class
  3. Trend the complaints and interpret the data to make intervention recommendations.
  4. Take the student to the emergency department for evaluation

4. A student with ADHD has been having a difficult time each morning until after the noon dose of medication. Which selection indicates what the school nurse should consider next?

  1. Notifying the parent to complain about the student's behavior
  2. Doubling the noon dose
  3. Checking with a parent to see if the morning dose has been given
  4. Seeking the help of the principal before reporting to Child Protective Services

5. What authorizations apply to the dispensing of medications to students during school hours?

  1. Parental authorization
  2. Medical authorization
  3. Parental and medical authorization
  4. School board authorization only

School Nurse Certification Answer Key

1. Answer: C

Girls may start having symptoms of early periods. It is wise to call home and discuss abdominal pain with a parent. Constipation may also be the cause of lower abdominal pain in children.

2. Answer: A

The child should be reassured so that he does not panic. After applying the cool rags, take note of the child's updated situation and then be ready to call the parents. If conditions worsen, 911 may need to be called.

3. Answer: C

Trending the complaints and collecting data will help you plan an intervention. Maybe the child does not eat breakfast, maybe it is constipation, or maybe he misses home. Trending the time of day, how many days a week, and other information are useful when discussing with a parent the most effective way to handle the complaints, rather than having the student miss class time.

4. Answer: C

Checking with a parent to see if morning medications have been given would be appropriate.

5. Answer: C

Both parental and medical authorizations apply to dispensing medications. Prescription medications need a doctor's order as well as parental permission.

School Nurse Certification Exam Blueprint and Breakdown


Last Updated: 07/05/2018

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