School Nurse Certificate Program

About the Program

Although the School Nurse Certificate program began in 1986, our unique web-based program began in 1998. The program is consistent with the Illinois Nurse Practice Act as well as current state and national school nurse standards and guidelines. It focuses on health care management for school-aged children and is designed to broaden, refine, and strengthen the nurse's ability to implement the nursing process in response to the diverse needs of children in the school community. 

This 10-credit hour program consists of three courses, which can be completed in two to three semesters of part-time study. Course work can be started during the fall or spring semester. The course work and discussions are conducted online.  Students are asked to come to campus once, on a Saturday, to attend orientation. Students who live more than 3 hours away are encouraged to come to campus but can make arrangements to attend virtually.

Students enrolled in a UIC College of Nursing graduate program may also enroll in the certificate or take individual courses as electives. 

Several ways to learn about the School Nurse Certificate:

  • For ongoing updates about the program, join our listserv

  • School Nurse Certificate Power Point Presentation (un-narrated) (PPT or PDF)

  • Watch the narrated power point (28mins) on YouTube here.
    YouTube Video


The UIC School Nurse Certificate program is designed for any Bachelors prepared, registered nurse wishing to broaden their knowledge of school nursing. All students who complete the 10-credit hour program will receive a certificate from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Illinois school nurse students who complete the program will be endorsed for Illinois State Board of Education Professional Educators Licensure in School Nursing (formerly Type 73 certificate).

Program Costs

The School Nurse Certificate program is a fully online program and students are assessed e-tuition. To see the current per credit hour e-tuition rate click here. Students currently enrolled in a UIC graduate degree program are charged range tuition.

Graduate Degree Options

For students interested in obtaining a graduate degree in school nursing, the UIC College of Nursing offers the Advanced Generalist Master of Science and the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)  with the School/Family Nurse Practitioner option.

Admission Criteria

1. BSN* including required course content (with a grade of "C" or better in the required course content), and an overall GPA of 2.75/4.00 in the last 60 hours of the BSN.

Required course content:

  • Public Health Nursing (Public Health Nursing Theory, Practice, or Community)
  • Human Growth and Development (Human Development or Child Health Nursing)
  • Social Science (Sociology, Psychology, or Cultural Anthropology)
  • Mental Health (Mental Health Nursing, Psych Nursing, Child or Adolescent Psychology)

*A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution in a field other than nursing plus an RN license is also acceptable. In this case, applicants must show proof of coursework in the following areas or complete the following three transitional courses at the beginning of their program:

  • NURS 210, Health Assessment
  • NURS 242, Concepts and Processes for Contemporary Nursing Practice
  • NURS 385, Clinical Concepts and Processes in Population-Focused Nursing

2. License to practice as a professional nurse in at least one political jurisdiction.

3. Requirements for Illinois nurses seeking ISBE Professional Educators License in School Nursing ONLY.

a. Passing scores on either the ISBE Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP), which is administered by the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS), or American College Testing (ACT) Plus Writing or Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). (Note: Students are strongly encouraged to prepare prior to testing. To view information on each of these exams, including passing scores click here.)

b. All professional education and content-area coursework that is needed for certification must have been passed with a grade no lower than "C" or equivalent.

4. Basic computer skills. No student will be admitted who is not proficient in the following: e-mail, attachments, word processing, cutting and pasting, search engines and web resources. 

Certificate Requirements

In order to receive the School Nurse Certificate, students must complete the following courses:

School Nurse Certificate Requirements

Course #

Course Title and Description

Semester Hours

NUSP 512

Education Perspectives in School Health
The scientific knowledge base of child development and educational psychology. Will explore the implications for classroom practice. Prerequisite(s): Consent of the instructor.
Offered fall and spring.


NUSP 513

School Nursing Theory and Trends
Explores population-focused frameworks, health needs, and legal mandates that impact school community. School nursing practice models are studied as relevant to developing leadership and management. Prerequisite(s): Consent of the instructor.
Offered fall and spring.


NUPR 514

School Nursing Internship
Concepts and principles and best practices of school nursing applied within the school community. Clinical experience with an emphasis on development of a coordinated school health program. May be repeated. Prerequisite(s): Credit or concurrent registration in NUSP 513.
Offered fall and spring.






Internship Requirements

The internship requires 300 hours in a school setting. This time can be spread over two semesters and some hours can be earned while working in a school nurse position. In addition to site visits performed by UIC faculty, interns will be assigned a preceptor within 30 miles who will plan learning experiences with the intern and provide mentoring and guidance. Interns not presently working in a school will be placed in a school with a school nurse preceptor within 30 miles of their community. 

In order to promote patient safety, students are required to meet certain requirements pertaining to background checks, immunizations, and drug testing before beginning the internship.Please see the Clinical Compliance webpage for more information.

Academic Policies

Students in the School Nurse Certificate program are held to the academic policies of the UIC College of Nursing, which state that students are expected to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 (“B” average) throughout the program. See the Academic Standards and Policies—Graduate section of the College of Nursing Student Handbook for more information. Students wishing to transfer academic credit earned in the certificate program to a graduate degree program must receive a minimum grade of “B” in each course to be transferred.

Additional Requirements for ISBE Professional Educators Licensure in School Nursing

  • Pass the ISBE School Personnel Certification Test (School Nurse Content) administered by the Illinois Certification Testing System (ILTS)
  • Upon completion of course work, submit application for Illinois Professional Educators Licensure in School Nursing

How to Apply

Application Deadline: July 15th (Fall), and November 15th (Spring)

The School Nurse Certificate program admits during the fall and spring semesters. Prospective students are encouraged to complete the application process early. All application materials, including unofficial transcripts, recommendations, resume, and test scores must be submitted by deadline for full consideration.

Please visit the Admission Criteria page before applying to the College of Nursing – School Nurse Certificate Program.

Steps to Apply

Apply through UIC’s Online Graduate Application –  Once you are in the application, click on the link for Intended Program. Select Campus Certificate for type of program and then School Nurse for your Intended Program

All additional application materials will be uploaded directly to the application. A completed application will include the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree transcript plus any nursing transcripts that were not part of your bachelor’s degree. Please do not mail or electronically send any transcripts to the College of Nursing nor to the Admissions Office. Transcripts must be uploaded directly to the application
  • Resume or CV
  • Nursing Supplement – a series of Certificate specific questions that will appear as a link within the application once you select School Nurse as your program
  • One letter of recommendation which ideally should come a supervisor, a certified master's level nurse who knows your quality of work, former instructors, or anyone who can speak to your professional and scholastic abilities. Within the application you will provide the name and e-mail of your reference and they will be sent a link to submit the recommendation. Recommendation letters should not be e-mailed nor mailed into the College of Nursing.
  • Passing Entrance Examination Scores from either the ISBE Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP), American College Testing (ACT) with Writing or Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) with writing. The application will give you a space to upload your exam results. If you have sent official ACT or SAT scores to UIC, you do not need to upload your scores.



Applications to the School Nurse Certificate will not be reviewed by the College of Nursing Faculty until after the application deadline for the semester in which the applicant is seeking admission. Applicants are generally notified of their admission status within 30 days of the application deadline.


Nondiscrimination Statement

The commitment of the University of Illinois to the most fundamental principles of academic freedom, equality of opportunity, and human dignity requires that decisions involving students and employees be based on individual merit and be free from invidious discrimination in all its forms.

The University of Illinois will not engage in discrimination or harassment against any person because of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation including gender identity, unfavorable discharge from the military or status as a protected veteran and will comply with all federal and state nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action laws, orders and regulations. This nondiscrimination policy applies to admissions, employment, access to and treatment in the University programs and activities.

University complaint and grievance procedures provide employees and students with the means for the resolution of complaints that allege a violation of this Statement. Members of the public should direct their inquiries or complaints to the appropriate equal opportunity office.

Policy Council
Revised May 31, 2005

For additional information or assistance with the equal opportunity, affirmative action, and harassment policies and procedures of the University of Illinois at Chicago, please contact:

Office for Access and Equity (M/C 602)
717 Marshfield Avenue Building
809 South Marshfield Avenue
Chicago, IL 60612-7207
Phone: (312) 996-8670

Grievance Procedures

UIC is committed to the most fundamental principles of academic freedom, equality of opportunity, and human dignity involving students and employees. Freedom from discrimination is a foundation for all decision making at UIC. Students are encouraged to study the University's "Nondiscrimination Statement". Students are also urged to read the document "Public Formal Grievance Procedures". Information on these policies and procedures is available on the University web pages of the Office of Access and Equity: http:/


Although a reversal of an initial decision is unlikely, an applicant may appeal a denial of admission. Appeals may be submitted only by the applicant and must contain significant new information that was not part of the original application. This does not include grades received after the after application deadline or missing application materials (including late recommendations).

If an applicant chooses to appeal, the appeal must specify the decision being challenged and the basis or bases for that challenge, and must request a specific remedy. Appeals must be in the form of a written request to the College of Nursing. Further details can be found on the Graduate College's University Regulations website.

Be a Preceptor

What are the qualifications of a preceptor?

If you are interested in becoming a preceptor for school nurse interns, you will need to have the following qualifications:

  • An Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Professional Educators License in School Nursing*
  • A Bachelor's or Master's degree in nursing
  • At least two years of experience in school nursing

*Preceptors for out-of-state students need to hold certification nationally or in the student's home state.

If you meet the above criteria, we invite you to submit the online preceptor pre-application found here.

Contact us

For questions about the program, e-mail us at:

For questions about the application process, contact:
UIC College of Nursing Office of Academic Programs
Phone: 312.996.7800