School Nursing

How to Get In

To enroll in the School Nursing Certification program, you must be one of the following:

  1. A licensed RN with a BS in Nursing. You do not have to be a school nurse.
  2. A student enrolled in the School of Nursing BSN program
  3. A student enrolled in the BSN@Home program at UW–Madison

Students enrolled in the BSN program at the School of Nursing can meet the requirements for certification during their course of study. Note: The N470 course does not meet the 3-credit community health course requirement in the BSN@Home program, but may fulfill an elective requirement.

BSN@Home students can meet some of the requirements during their course of study. After graduation, they can apply for University Special Student status to complete the requirements.

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University Special Student tuition schedule. To find the correct rates, select “Special” under the Student Career dropdown menu. Note: Wisconsin residents and non-residents are charged different rates.

Students not also enrolled in a degree program are not eligible for School of Nursing assistantships or scholarships but may be eligible for scholarships through the Adult Career and Special Student Services Office within the Division of Continuing Studies.

Apply by submitting the application form, which you can download from this page, along with official transcripts of all college-level coursework. The application asks about your education and work experience. There is one essay question about why you want to be a school nurse.

If You are Not Currently Enrolled at UW–Madison

If you are not currently a UW–Madison student, you need to become a University Special Student first. BSN@Home students can complete some of the requirements while enrolled in the BSN@Home program and then enroll as special students to complete the requirements.

Send All Materials to:

School Nursing Certification Program
UW–Madison School of Nursing
Suite 1100 Cooper Hall
701 Highland Avenue
Madison, WI 53705

Questions? email


School Nursing Certification Program Requirements

Prior coursework and professional experience will be evaluated toward meeting all requirements except the Nursing 470 course.

Nursing, 8-9 Credits (both of the following)
  • 470 Primary Health Care Nursing in the School Setting, 2-3 credits (Note: N470 does not meet the 3-credit community health course requirement in the BSN@Home program, but may fulfill an elective requirement.)
  • 472 Practicum in School Nursing, 6 credits (may be satisfied with three years’ experience as a school nurse)
Ed Policy, 3 credits (one of the following)
  • 300 School and Society
  • 412 History of American Education
  • 500 Social Issues and Education

Program Plan & Requirements

Curriculum and Instruction, 3 Credits (one of the following)
  • 501 Health Information for Teachers
  • 541 Organization and Administration of School Health and Safety Program
Human Growth and Development, 3 Credits (one of the following—either area):

Child/Family Studies

  • 362 Development of the Young Child
  • 363 Development from Middle Childhood to Old Age

Ed Psych

  • 320 Human Development in Infancy and Early Childhood
  • 321 Human Development in Adolescence
  • 723 Development Processes Across the Lifespan

Note: Certification also requires the completion of a four-year degree in nursing.


After completion of all requirements, the School of Nursing will endorse the candidate for licensure as a School Nurse through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI).

The candidate must then apply for licensure through DPI’s Educator Licensing Online (ELO) system. In the DPI system, the school nurse license is within the Pupil Services license category.

More details on the steps and process to apply for licensure can be found on the DPI website.


Many school districts require that nurses complete school nurse certification as a condition of employment.

Certification requirements differ by state, so if you are interested in employment outside Wisconsin, check the requirements of the state(s) in which you want to work.

The following websites may be useful in learning more about school nursing careers:

Connect with Program Staff

Karen Mittelstadt

Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs


1161 Signe Skott Cooper Hall