Outline of the state of Tennessee

School Nurse Qualifications

School Nurse Qualifications

State law requires or recommends that all school nurses be properly certified by the state.


Health and Education organizations and professionals use different vocabularies. To assure an understanding of the roles of health care professionals, role definitions are outlined below followed by a listing of related definitions. Licensed Health Care Professionals Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) A Nurse who has a Master of Science in Nursing [MSN] and is certified by a national certification board. As an Advance Practice Nurse, they can diagnose, prescribe treatments, diagnostics, and medications. There are specialty areas of certification that include Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, and School Nurse Practitioner. Registered Nurse (RN) A nurse licensed to practice in Tennessee who has successfully passed the national licensure examination for Registered Nurses after completing a Board of Nursing approved program leading to an Associate, Baccalaureate, or Master’s degree in nursing or a 3-year Diploma hospital based program. The RN is the primary professional who will coordinate health services in the school setting. Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) A nurse trained in the basic nursing techniques and direct patient care who assists and practices under the direction or supervision of the Registered Nurse under the Tennessee Nurse Practice Act. The educational background of an LPN is generally one year of training in a hospital based program or technology center program. An LPN works under the direction of an RN in providing health services in the school. The LPN must receive periodic, on-site supervision by an appropriately licensed health care provider (RN, MD, DO, Dentist). Ancillary Personnel Ancillary personnel must complete appropriate training provided by appropriate health care professionals (RN, MD, DO, Dentist) and must have continued supervision by appropriately licensed health care professionals (RN, MD, DO, Dentist).

Policy Type

Tennessee Administrative Rules and Regulations 1200-11-5-.05 Staffing

(1) For the basic program, services provided by the program may be delivered by registered nurses, certified nurse practitioners, health educators, medical social workers, nutritionists and other health care professionals.

(2) The program will provide to each LEA participating in the basic program the services of a registered nurse. In addition, services of other health care professionals may be provided.

(3) For special projects, types of personnel shall be based on the services needed to meet the unique needs the project addresses.

(4) Each public health region shall designate a health care professional as the School Health Coordinator to work with the program staff of that region.

Policy Type

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-3-359. BEP funding

(2) Each public school nurse employed by or provided to an LEA, pursuant to subsection (a), shall meet or exceed the minimum qualifications and Standard established pursuant to § 68-1-1204(a), and shall perform the duties and responsibilities enumerated within § 68-1-1202. Each public school nurse employed by an LEA shall maintain current certification through a certifying cardiopulmonary resuscitation course consistent with the scientific guidelines of the American Heart Association in collaboration with the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation.

Policy Type