Unlike professional school nurses, health aides are not licensed health professionals. With minimal training from the health department, they work under the direction of the Public Health Registered Nurse who is often assigned multiple schools, each of which can have thousands of students.

A licensed practical nurse (LPN) is a nurse who cares for people who are sick, injured, convalescent, or disabled. LPN training programs typically take up to two years to complete and an extensive exam is required before the student can receive their license. LPNs work under the direction of physicians and registered nurses. 

A registered school nurse is a nurse who specializes in nursing that protects and promotes student health, facilitates optimal development, and advances academic success. They have also graduated from a nursing program and met the requirements outlined by the state’s licensing body to obtain a nursing license. Registered school nurses, grounded in ethical and evidence-based practice, are the leaders who bridge health care and education, provide care coordination, advocate for quality student-centered care, and collaborate to design systems that allow individuals and communities to develop their full potential.