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University of Pittsburgh    
2021-2022 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jun 13, 2024
2021-2022 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

School Nurse PK-12 Certificate -online

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Currently in Pennsylvania, completion of an approved School Nurse PK- 12 Certificate program is required to practice as a school nurse. The School Nurse PK-12 Certificate fulfills the educational requirements for the School Nurse Certificate (Education Specialist 1) issued by the PA Department of Education (PDE). 

This online School Nurse PK-12 Certificate from the School of Nursing, a 15-credit (three-term) curriculum is designed for graduates of BSN programs and students and/or graduates of MSN, DNP, or PhD programs. This program will prepare registered nurses to meet the health needs of children of all ages in diverse school settings. The curriculum includes a School Nurse Seminar course which covers the true essentials of school nursing, taught by a certified school nurse. Practicums are completed in diverse elementary and secondary school settings including special needs students.  Three nurse practitioner courses enhance student’s knowledge of health promotion and disease prevention in culturally diverse populations and their skills in physical assessment and working with psychiatric conditions. 

Upon completion of the School Nurse Certificate curriculum, you will be eligible to apply for the School Nurse PK-12 Certificate (Education Specialist 1) issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). In addition to meeting PDE educational requirements, Pennsylvania requires certified school nurses to have a BSN and a valid RN license. (Visit or your home state’s Board of Nursing website for state-specific requirements.) 

Program Outcomes
  • Graduates of the School Nurse Certificate will be prepared to apply nursing knowledge, skills, and abilities in the care of school age children in diverse elementary and secondary school settings. 
  • This program will help prepare school nurses who in the future may decide to take the National Certification Examination for School Nurses (NCSN).  You must have completed 1000 hours working as a school nurse. This test is administered by the National Board for Certification of School Nurses (NBCSN).
Admission Criteria
  • Pre-admission Interview
  • Current RN license in U.S. state/territory or location where student will complete clinical requirements
  • ≥ 3.0 GPA in BSN or higher nursing degree from an ACEN, ACICS, CCNE, or NLN accredited program
  • Current Criminal Record Clearance (ACT 34 and ACT 73)
  • Current Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (ACT 33)
  • Current American Heart Association - BLS Healthcare Provider Course Certification
  • Online application
  • Application Deadlines: August 1 (Fall Term), December 1 (Spring Term)
Curriculum Format
  • Online* (no on-site campus requirements)
  • Full-time (3 terms) / Part-time (varies)
  • 15 credits (includes 120 practicum hours with a Certified School Nurse)
  • Fall and Spring Term admission

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