School Nurse Certificate

The application deadline has passed. The May 2014 class is full.
Applications for the May 2015 class may be submitted beginning September 1.

EMU Nursing offers a school nurse certification program newly approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The purpose of the School Nurse Certification Program is to prepare registered nurses to meet the health needs of children of all ages in diverse school settings. This post-baccalaureate program consists of 12 credits of coursework, including a practicum, leading to a certificate as a Level I Educational Specialist-School Nurse.

Courses are offered online and in a blended format. This certification program can be taken as part of the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with the school nurse track or independent of the MSN. For students wishing to pursue an MSN, the certification program provides an easy transition into the MSN School Nurse Leadership track. Since courses are offered online and in a blended format this program can be accessible to all nurses from any state. The instructor will be available to meet in person or through a virtual meeting with out-of-area students who desire this opportunity.

We strongly encourage you to investigate the prerequisites for school nurses in your state before applying to make sure this program meets the requirements.

Upon completion of the School Nurse Certificate curriculum, students who are RN’s in Pennsylvania, are eligible to apply for the School Nurse Certificate (Education Specialist I) issued by the Pennsylvania (PA) Department of Education (Note: BSN and valid PA registered nurse license required).

Required Courses

The School Nurse Certification courses are offered in sequence annually beginning with the Summer Semester.

NURS 504: School Nursing: Legal Mandates – 3 semester hours
This course examines the roles and responsibilities of school nurses and the laws governing the practice of school nursing. The importance of the school nurse’s responsibility to promote the health of students, enhance their ability to learn, and promote health among school personnel will be emphasized in this course. Current legal issues in school health as well as emerging roles and responsibilities of School Nurses will also be explored.

NURS 505: School Nursing: Theory and Diverse Learners – 3 semester hours
This course examines the roles and responsibilities of the school nurse in relation to promotion, restoration, and maintenance of health of school children. Management, evaluation, and outcomes of coordinated school health programs are discussed. Principles of community health are applied. Significant emphasis will be placed on accommodations and adaptations for diverse learners. Prerequisite: NURS 504

NURS 506: School Nursing: Practicum – 3 semester hours
This course follows the School Nursing: Theory and Diverse Learners course. In addition to the on-line learning activities, students will complete a 120 hour clinical practicum in various school settings. The dissemination of hours is as follows: 30 hours in the elementary setting, 30 hours in the middle school setting, 30 hours in the high school setting and 30 hours with the diverse learner population. Clinical practicum assignments are individually planned with the approval of the course instructor. Prerequisites: NURS 504 and NURS 505

EDDS 601: Advocacy Issues Within Special Education – 3 semester hours
This course is designed to assist the teacher/nurse practitioner in recognizing the impact and importance of decision-making and the dynamics of advocacy. This course includes, but is not limited to, current topics in special education, self-determination by and for students, development of the essential professional advocacy competencies, advocating for students with special needs, the rights of children, and the inclusive setting. Students will participate in an exploration of advocacy websites, develop a wiki or brochure to use in their professional practice when working with families and colleagues, and develop a personal position on advocacy.

Certification of Program Requirements

  • BS in Nursing or BSN reflected in official transcripts
  • Minimum of a 2.8 GPA for admission, with a 3.0 GPA maintained during program
  • Current licensure as a registered nurse in Pennsylvania with 2000 hours of experience or registered nurse licensure from your state of residence
  • 3 credits of health assessment
  • Proof of current:
    CPR certification
    • Immunizations and tuberculin testing
  • Documentation of current:
    ACT 151 criminal history check
    • 114 FBI clearance, including fingerprinting
    ACT 34 child abuse clearance forms
  • PA nurses visit Pennsylvania Department of Education website for details on school nurse certification requirements. Out of state nurses, please investigate your state certification requirements

Approximate total cost:

4 courses: $ 6,300.00
Fees: $ 125.00
TOTAL: $ 6,425.00

For more information contact:

Dawn Lambert, MSN, RN
Instructor of Nursing
School Nurse Certification Program Coordinator
Eastern Mennonite University in Lancaster, PA
Office phone: 717-397-5190
Email: