S-1138.1  _______________________________________________


                         SENATE BILL 5737



State of Washington      57th Legislature     2001 Regular Session


By Senators Deccio, Winsley, Franklin, Thibaudeau, Oke, Kohl‑Welles and Rasmussen


Read first time 02/01/2001.  Referred to Committee on Health & Long‑Term Care.

Modifying school nurse provisions.

    AN ACT Relating to school nurses; adding a new section to chapter 28A.210 RCW; creating new sections; and providing an expiration date.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The legislature finds that schools are being asked to play an increasingly expanding role in protecting our children's health.  Schools are responsible for monitoring the immunization of children, evaluating children's hearing and vision, and screening for scoliosis.  Chronically ill children often require medically ordered treatment to enable them to attend school.  Prescription medication is often required to be given to children during the school day.  Schools are also responsible for identifying and reporting child abuse, identifying drug and alcohol problems, treating emergencies, providing counseling and assistance for teenage parents, and providing AIDS education.  The legislature finds that expertise is needed in our schools to protect the health of students in our schools and to help students learn.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  A new section is added to chapter 28A.210 RCW to read as follows:

    (1) Beginning with the 2001-2002 school year, each school district shall maintain a ratio of not less than one school nurse for every one thousand five hundred full-time equivalent students.  In the 2002-03 school year, each school district shall maintain a ratio of not less than one school nurse for every one thousand full-time equivalent students.  In the 2003-04 school year, each school district shall maintain a ratio of not less than one school nurse for every seven hundred fifty full-time equivalent students.

    (2) The state board of education shall adopt rules providing for the initial and continuing certification for certified school nurses.  Application shall be made within one year after the effective date of this section.

    (3) A second class school district may continue to hire persons who meet the requirements of RCW 28A.210.300.

    (4) As used in this section, "school nurse" means a person who satisfies the following requirements:

    (a)(i) The candidate holds a bachelor of science degree in nursing, including training in public health nursing;

    (ii) The candidate holds a valid license as a registered nurse (RN) in Washington state;

    (iii) The candidate is certified as an educational staff associate pursuant to requirements established by the office of the superintendent of public instruction;

    (iv) The candidate has successfully completed additional postgraduate work including, but not limited to, school health, crisis intervention, health counseling, child development, health curriculum, and drug and alcohol abuse curriculum; and

    (v) The candidate has professional nursing experience in school settings for the equivalent of three school years within the six years immediately preceding the effective date of this section; or

    (b) The candidate qualifies under subsection (3) of this section.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  By December 31, 2003, the superintendent of public instruction shall submit a report to the legislature on the implementation of section 2 of this act and the impact of the services provided.  The report shall include recommendations about whether funding for school nurses should be an ongoing responsibility of the state and part of basic education.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.  Sections 1 and 2 of this act expire June 30, 2004.


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