Trenton – Legislation to promote quality school nursing services and school health programs by establishing the position of State School Nurse Consultant in the Department of Education, cleared the Senate Education Committee today. The bill is sponsored by Senate Education Chair M. Teresa Ruiz.
“When the Education Recovery Taskforce met to discuss health and safety, the school nurses were clear in their desire for a statewide school nurse consultant to help streamline protocols and ensure uniformity around the state,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “Especially as we look towards reopening our schools and adjusting to the new normal, strong lines of communication between the Department of Education, the Department of Health and our school nurses will be crucial. Beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, the consultant will help to strengthen our health programs and ensure all districts are meeting high-quality standards.”
The bill, S-2573, would require the Commissioner of Education to appoint a State School Nurse Consultant to work with school districts and school nurses to promote quality school nursing services as well as school health programs that address the broad health needs of students through the State.
The person appointed to the position is required to be a certified school nurse who holds a master’s degree and has demonstrated higher-level leadership with recent school nursing experience.
The last school nurse to work at the Department of Education retired in 2015.
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 5-1.