Licensure / Endorsement

Qualified School Nurse

Every school-aged child deserves a school nurse who is highly qualified and holds a degree from an accredited college or university and is licensed as a Registered Nurse through the Colorado Division of Regulatory Agencies (DORA).

These requirements constitute minimal preparation needed to practice at the entry level of school nursing according to the American Nurses Association and the National Association of School Nurses. School nursing requires advanced skills that include the ability to practice independently, supervise others, and delegate care in a community, rather than a hospital or clinic setting. These advanced skills are needed to address the complex health needs of students within the school community setting. These skills are attained through a baccalaureate degree in nursing.

School nurses must hold a Colorado Department of Education (CDE) license as a special services provider with a school nurse endorsement.

The requirement is:

  • Baccalaureate degree in nursing and a current DORA license as an RN.

For more information visit the CDE website: http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdeprof/licensure_firsttimeapp

For further questions please contact Sarah Blumenthal at blumenthal_s@cde.state.co.us

For the RN: Online application checklist, if moving from another state, please visit this website: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/Nursing_RN_Applications_Docs

Colorado has a mandatory practice act, which means that you may not practice as a Registered Nurse in Colorado without a Colorado or other compact state license. Submission of the application DOES NOT guarantee licensure; do not make life or career decisions based on the probability you may receive a license. Plan ahead for the time it will take to receive and review all required documents and complete our evaluation.

For a list of states participating in the Nurse Compact or for information regarding Compact please visit these websites:


In Colorado, the School Nurse licensure is issued by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). A School nurse must receive a Special Services Provider (SSP) license with a School Nurse endorsement in order to practice and maintain employment in Colorado.

For information regarding requirements necessary to obtain an SSP licensure /School Nurse endorsement please visit these websites: 

General information regarding School Nursing in the State of Colorado http://www.cde.state.co.us/healthandwellness/snh_professionalschoolnursing

Checklist of documents needed to start application process http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdeprof/checklist-addedendorsementspecialserviceprovider

It is best to familiarize yourself with the CDE website - especially the timelines - and plan for the time it takes to send in and have documents reviewed

National School Nurse Certification

For information and requirements on becoming nationally certified as a school nurse, please visit this website: https://www.nbcsn.org/

NOTE: In some school districts in Colorado there is additional pay attached to being a Nationally Certified School Nurse (NCSN). Inquire with the school district you are applying to.