S-0635.1  _______________________________________________


                         SENATE BILL 5222



State of Washington      57th Legislature     2001 Regular Session


By Senators Franklin, Winsley, Fraser, Carlson, Costa, Thibaudeau and Kohl‑Welles


Read first time 01/16/2001.  Referred to Committee on Health & Long‑Term Care.

Requiring the registration of certain school health personnel.

    AN ACT Relating to health; requiring registration of a school health aide; and adding a new chapter to Title 18 RCW.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The legislature finds that there is a diminishing supply of school nurses serving the health needs of students in the state's school districts.  The supply of nurses has not increased in proportion to school enrollment.  In addition, the increasingly complex health needs of students can no longer be adequately met by the delegation of nursing tasks to unlicensed and untrained school personnel, such as teachers, teacher's assistants, and secretarial staff, without compromising the health of students and exposing school districts to legal liability.  The delegation practices in public schools of complex nursing tasks are of questionable legality and the opportunity for error has life-threatening consequences.  Removing health barriers to learning is essential to the successful education of students, and should be addressed in the state's school districts by recognizing established nursing practice standards and the state's uniform professional accountability processes.  The legislature declares that the training of registered school health aides is in the interest of public health and safety.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.

    (1) "Commission" means the nursing care quality assurance commission created in RCW 18.79.070.

    (2) "Department" means the department of health.

    (3) "School health aide" means a person registered under this chapter who performs health care tasks under training and supervision of a registered nurse licensed under RCW 18.79.040.  Typical health care tasks would include oral and topical medications, clean intermittent catheterization, and clean dressing changes.

    (4) "Secretary" means the secretary of health.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  (1) No certificated or noncertificated school district employee may practice or represent himself or herself as a school health aide by use of any title or description of services without being registered to practice by the department, unless otherwise exempted by this chapter.

    (2) Nursing tasks delegated to a school health aide include those nursing procedures applicable to school districts provided by law, including those tasks determined by the commission by rule in consultation with the superintendent of public instruction.

    (3) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the scope of nursing procedures applicable to school districts as provided by law.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit or restrict:

    (1) The practice by an individual licensed, certified, or registered under the laws of this state and performing services within the authorized scope of practice;

    (2) The practice by an individual employed by the government of the United States while engaged in the performance of duties prescribed by the laws of the United States; or

    (3) The practice by a person who is a regular student in an educational program approved by the secretary, and whose performance of services is pursuant to a regular course of instruction or assignments from an instructor and under the general supervision of the instructor.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.  In addition to any other authority provided by law, the secretary has the authority to:

    (1) Adopt rules under chapter 34.05 RCW necessary to implement this chapter;

    (2) Establish all registration, examination, and renewal fees in accordance with RCW 43.70.250;

    (3) Establish forms and procedures necessary to administer this chapter;

    (4) Register any applicants, and to deny registration to applicants who do not meet the minimum qualifications, except that proceedings concerning the denial of registration based upon unprofessional conduct or impairment shall be governed by the uniform disciplinary act, chapter 18.130 RCW;

    (5) Hire clerical, administrative, investigative, and other staff as needed to implement this chapter, and hire individuals registered under this chapter to serve as examiners for any practical examinations;

    (6) Determine minimum education or training requirements;

    (7) Determine whether alternative methods of training are equivalent to formal education, and establish forms, procedures, and criteria for evaluation of an applicant's alternative training to determine the applicant's eligibility for registration;

    (8) Implement and administer a program for consumer education;

    (9) Adopt rules implementing a continuing competency program; and

    (10) Maintain the official department record of all applicants and persons registered under this chapter.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6.  The secretary shall keep an official record of all proceedings.  A part of the record shall consist of a register of all applicants for registration under this chapter and the results of each application.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 7.  The secretary shall issue a registration to any applicant who completes an application that identifies the name and address of the applicant, the registration being requested, and information required by the secretary necessary to establish whether there are grounds for denial of a registration or issuance of a conditional registration under chapter 18.130 RCW.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 8.  The commission, in consultation with the superintendent of public instruction, shall establish by rule the standards and procedures for approval of educational and alternative training programs.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 9.  Applications for registration shall be submitted on forms provided by the secretary.  The secretary may require any information and documentation that reasonably relates to the need to determine whether the applicant meets the criteria for registration provided for in this chapter and chapter 18.130 RCW.  Each applicant shall pay a fee determined by the secretary under RCW 43.70.250.  The fee shall accompany the application.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 10.  The secretary shall establish by rule the procedural requirements and fees for renewal of a registration.  Failure to renew shall invalidate the registration and all privileges granted by the registration.  If a registration has lapsed for a period longer than three years, the person shall demonstrate competence to the satisfaction of the secretary by taking continuing education courses, or meeting other standards determined by the secretary.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 11.  The uniform disciplinary act, chapter 18.130 RCW, governs the issuance and denial of registrations, unauthorized practice, and the discipline of persons registered under this chapter.  The secretary is the disciplining authority under this chapter.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 12.  This chapter only applies to a business or profession regulated under the laws of this state if this chapter is specifically referenced in the laws regulating that business or profession.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 13.  If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 14.  Sections 1 through 13 of this act constitute a new chapter in Title 18 RCW.


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