Recertification Procedures

All NCSNs are required to renew their certification in order to demonstrate that they have kept current with new practices, methodologies, equipment, medications, and terminology in the specialty of school nursing. School Nurse certification is granted for a period of five (5) years at which time the certificant must either retake and pass the Certification Examination for School Nurses or meet current continuing education and recertification requirements.

Certified school nurses are notified one (1) year in advance of the expiration of their certification. Candidates for recertification must meet current eligibility requirements and submit appropriate documentation to demonstrate that criteria are met. These include:

  • A copy of the applicant’s current RN license.
  • Employment in school health or related services with a minimum of 2000 hours of clinical practice in the area of school nursing during the past five (5) years, at least 750 of which must be in the prior three years, defined further below.
  • Payment of required fees, $245.00.

It is the responsibility of the candidate to maintain active/current address and contact information with the NBCSN. Deadlines missed due to forwarded and lost mail are the responsibility of the candidate and may incur late fees or forfeited recertification status.

The President may grant an extension for a recertification application, provided the candidate has submitted a request in writing within 90 days of the candidate’s recertification date. Requests received within 90 days after the candidate’s recertification date will incur a late fee of $100, which must be paid in addition to the application fee. There are no refunds of fees. No request for an extension will be granted beyond 90 days after the recertification date. After the 90 days, the NCSN credential will be revoked and a candidate may only be reinstated by taking and passing the Certification Examination for School Nurses.

Clinical Practice Requirements for Recertification

Clinical Practice in school nursing means employed or contracted to provide a direct or indirect professional contribution to the health and education of students and their families in public or private school settings.

Direct clinical practice in school nursing is defined as involvement in the nursing process in a school setting where the nursing actions and judgments are focused on a particular student, family, school community, or group of students of their families where there is continuing professional responsibility and accountability for the outcomes of these actions.

Indirect clinical practice in school nursing is defined as involvement that:

  1. includes clinical supervision of school nurses, education and clinical supervision of baccalaureate/master's nursing students in school health, administration of school health services, research, consultation or other engagement in the field of school nursing that contributes to the specialty's body of knowledge or enhances the quality of school nursing practice; and
  2. entails continuing professional responsibility and accountability for the outcomes of the involvement.

Not eligible as clinical practice in school nursing includes: substitute nursing in a school, except as a full time substitute working consecutive days for the required clinical practice hours; one-to-one nursing as the nurse's sole responsibility within a school; employment in the direct sales, marketing or distribution of school nursing-related products or services in pharmaceutical, technology or other school health-related industries; community health screenings; work in a camp setting; preceptorship/mentor; and jobs unrelated to school nursing.

Recertification Application

To apply for recertification by continuing education, 75 hours of continuing education or approved credits related to school nursing practice must be documented. These activities must be related to the practice of school nursing, sponsored by an approved national or state accrediting agency, and must have been completed during the five years prior to the expiration date on the candidate’s certification. 

Continuing education (in school nursing) is defined as programs beyond basic nursing preparation that are designed to promote and enrich knowledge, improve skills, and develop attitudes for the enhancement of (school) nursing practice.

Continuing nursing education activities are assessed, planned, implemented, and evaluated in accordance with adult learning principles and professional education standards and ethics. The educational design process includes procedures for protecting educational content from bias, providing learners appropriate information and documentation related to their participation, and maintaining records in a secure and confidential manner. (ANCC)

To count towards recertification renewal, a program must have been approved by one of the credentialing agencies (accredited providers) approved by the NBCSN. They must have met national or state predetermined criteria to approve programs and provide continuing education (CE). The Board recognizes the following credentialing agencies:

  • Nursing specialty organizations listed below, or those accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), as
    • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
    • American Association of Critical Care Nurses
    • American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
    • American College of Nurse Midwives
    • Emergency Nurses Association
    • National Association of School Nurses
    • National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates and Practitioners
  • Continuing Medical Education credentialing agencies
  • Colleges and Universities accredited by state, regional and federal (as US Dept. of Education) accrediting boards
  • State boards of nursing
  • State departments of health and education whose programs have met the criteria for continuing education through accredited providers
  • National accrediting agencies for licensed professional counselors and social workers

All certificates of attendance must include the name of the approved accreditation or certification body. Organizations such as hospitals, state nursing associations etc., may work with approved/accredited providers to provide continuing education programs and should note the collaboration and the provider/accreditation name on certificates.

Documentation of Approved Credits

  • Continuing Education Credits
    • All contact hours must be in subjects related to school health practice and be approved by a national accrediting agency (as described above), state department of health or education, accredited universities or colleges, etc. These may include workshops, seminars, professional development offerings, and state/national conferences. Online courses, teleconferences, and “webinars” are acceptable, provided they are approved by a national or state accrediting agency.
    • Single–offering courses, seminars, workshops or conferences listed as twenty (20) hours or greater must be accompanied by a course outline or content agenda attached to the recertification application.
    • For conferences with multiple concurrent sessions, each session attended must be identified individually on the certificate or agenda.
    • Self-paced or online CE programs are acceptable for credit if approved by one of the credentialing organizations recognized by the NBCSN.
    • Courses which are considered basic nursing preparation or staff development are not accepted. Activities NOT ACCEPTABLE for continuing education credit include:
      • Basic CPR, first aid, blood-borne pathogens training and other state certification and screening courses, as vision, hearing, Acanthosis Nigricans, spinal assessment, etc.
        • PALS, ATLS, ACLS will be accepted for credit only one time during the five-year recertification period.
      • Basic computer technology courses, such as Windows, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, including computer training for district specific record keeping.
      • In-service programs that provide specific information about the work setting’s philosophy and procedures, including orientation to a work setting, department and district staff development courses, workshops and committee meetings—unless pre-approved by an accredited provider as described above.
      • On-the-job training and equipment demonstration.
      • Refresher courses designed to update knowledge.
      • Courses that focus on self-improvement, changes in attitude, self-therapy, self-awareness.
      • Personal weight loss, yoga or personal appearance, etc.
      • Economic courses for financial gain, as investments, retirement, preparing resumes and techniques for job interviews.
      • Liberal art course in music, art, philosophy, etc, when unrelated to patient/client/student care.
      • Courses for lay people.
  • Academic Credits
    • Academic courses must be taken within the framework of a curriculum that leads to an academic degree in nursing or any academic course relevant to nursing practice. An academic course taken for credit may be used to meet NBCSN requirements if a grade of “C” or better or “pass” on a pass/fail system is achieved.
    • Each individual academic credit, from an accredited institution of higher learning will be considered as ten (10) contact hours for quarter courses, or fifteen (15) contact hours for semester courses.
    • A transcript of successful completion of each course must be submitted with recertification documentation.
    • On-line academic courses from accredited institutions will be accepted.
    • Prerequisite courses, such as mathematics, government, anatomy, physiology, languages, literature, etc. cannot be accepted to meet any part of the continuing education requirements for a registered nurse.
  • Miscellaneous activities

The NBCSN recognizes and supports endeavors that promote and enhance the role of the certified school nurse and grants credits for certain professional activities that meet the criteria described below:

Credits Earned


Documentation Required


Participation in NBCSN Problem Item Analysis (PIN) call or other NBCSN activity (less than 5 hrs in length)

1. Copy of certificate of participation.


Limited to 5 credits per 5-year recertification period

Submission of 15 items for exam

1. Items should be submitted in a multiple choice format with the correct answer indicated.

2. References must be included

3. Items must be submitted with recertification application and become the property of NBCSN.


Max. of 5 credits per year

Precepting Student Nurses

1. Course outline and student objectives.

2. Letter of validation from School of Nursing faculty documenting each year and number of hours of preceptorship.

3. Minimum of 50 hours per semester for student clinical experience with school nurse.


Max. of 5 credits per year/25 cycle. Points may be the same or different activities each year.(e.g. NBCSN liaison for 3 years, then NASN director for 2 years for a total of 25 points)

Leadership Activities

1. Officer/Director position for national or state school nurse organizations, including NBCSN OR

2. NBCSN Audit Committee Member OR

3. NBCSN Liaison

4. 1. Officer--Documentation of position, such as copy of programs, minutes, etc.

2. Audit--Perform at least 5 audits/yr. as confirmed by Recertification Chair

5. 3. Liaison--Completion of annual report AND report of participation at state or regional conference


credit per year of membership

NASN membership

1. Copy of membership card or other evidence for each year claimed.


Limited to 25 credits per 5-year recertification period

Participation in NBCSN Item Review, Form/Exam Review, Pool Review, Item Writing Workshop or other NBCSN activity (generally at least 5 hrs. in length)

2. Copy of certificate of participation


Limited to 25 credits per 5-year recertification period. Each course may only be used once per 5-year recertification period

Presentation (including poster) of Professional Education topic (CE or Academic)

1. 1. Program must provide accredited continuing education credits according to NBCSN guidelines.

2. Copy of agenda or brochure listing faculty, topic, length of program and accreditation statement.

3. Program must be a minimum of 1 hour (60 minutes) in length. Each course or poster presentation submitted must be of a unique topic.

4. 2. Academic class must be related to school nursing (population health/school health/pediatrics/etc). Course outline listing name of course, institution, faculty, student objectives, course credit, dates of course. Basic nursing classes are not acceptable. Must be outside regular school nurse or school nurse instructor clinical hours, must reflect new knowledge. Each course must be a unique topic.

5. 1 academic credit=10 credits/quarter or 15 credits/semester.


Original Article Published in Professional Journal

1. Peer reviewed journal.

2. Copy of table of contents, listing title of article, and Journal information, as date, volume, etc.

3. Credit is allowed for EACH article with a different topic area published within the 5-year recertification cycle.


Authoring Chapter in or Editing a School Nurse Related Text

1. Citation in current APA format

2. Credit is allowed for EACH chapter authored with a different topic area or EACH text edited within the 5-year recertification cycle.

Applicants and candidates may be requested to demonstrate how the course content promotes expertise in school health or is relevant to the school nursing practice of the certificant. Individuals may be requested to provide additional information or documentation before credit will be granted.

Documentation of all certificates must be maintained by the candidate and, upon request or for audit purposes, submitted for review. Each certificate must include the date, program title, approved provider number as applicable, name of the accredited provider (NO acronyms will be accepted), and the number of CE hours awarded.

Click here to add/track CE activities 

Summary of Recertification Procedure

Complete Application for Recertification by Continuing Education


  • Copy of current RN License.
  • Documentation of a minimum of 2,000 hours of clinical practice in the area of school nursing during the past five years, at least 750 of which must be in the prior three years. (A letter from a supervisor/school district on letterhead.)
  • Copies of all certificates, with required information listed on each certificate.
  • Documentation related to Miscellaneous Activities, if applicable.
  • Required fees (made payable to NBCSN $245.00). Fees are non-refundable.

Complete the online application

Recertification by Continuing Education may be denied for any of the following reasons:

  1. Failure to meet criteria of 75 hours of continuing education or acceptable credits
  2. Falsification or misrepresentation of continuing education information or any information required to meet eligibility criteria
  3. Failure to apply before the NCSN anniversary date
  4. Failure to provide continuing education or miscellaneous credit information by the deadline specified, when proper documentation or additional information is requested
  5. Failure to submit the recertification fee payment, with late fees if required
  6. Failure to meet the clinical practice requirement

If recertification is denied, the recertification application fee will NOT be refunded.

Revocation of NCSN Credential

Failure to meet the criteria listed above will result in the immediate revocation of the NCSN credential at the anniversary deadline of the certification. Any NCSN who does not meet the continuing education recertification requirements or who fails to recertify by successfully passing the examination will be permitted to apply for the next regularly scheduled examination period. The candidate may NOT use the NCSN credential during the interim, and certification will only be reinstated following the successful completion (passing score) of the examination.

Extensions and Late Fees

Up to ninety (90) days after the NCSN's recertification date, a $100 late fee will be assessed for processing recertification applications. After the 90 days, the NCSN credential will be revoked and a candidate may only be reinstated by taking and passing the Certification Examination for School Nurses. All current eligibility criteria must be met by candidates seeking reinstatement. Eligibility requirements are listed in the Handbook for Candidates.

NCSNs serving on active military duty may extend the recertification period for up to twelve additional months (one year) past the end of active duty, without incurring late fees or penalties, provided that:

  1. They provide documentation of active duty, with dates of return to employment in school health, if appropriate.
  2. Continuing education units or credits total 75 units within a period of six (6) years since the date of the original examination or last recertification date, or within one year after return from active duty.
  3. A letter of request for extension should be addressed to the President of NBCSN, describing the situation, and included with the recertification application, fees, and continuing education documentation.
  4. Additional extension may be granted by the NBCSN President upon written request and a description of the circumstances.
  5. Documentation of 75 continuing education or approved credits.


An individual may appeal a failed examination due to technical issues, or a denial of recertification.

Appeals related to technical issues incurred during the examination process should be immediately addressed to Prometric for investigation of testing center and computer issues. All other appeals or challenges are to be submitted in writing, addressed to the NBCSN President within 30 days of the denial or receipt of the examination results, citing all of the reasons for the appeal or challenge.

The NBCSN President shall issue a decision on the matter in writing within 30 days of the receipt of the appeal or challenge. The individual will then have an additional 30 days to submit a written appeal to the NBCSN Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall issue a written decision within 30 days from the receipt of the appeal. The decision of the NBCSN Board of Directors shall be final.