Public Health Committee
JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT
AN ACT CONCERNING RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE SCHOOL NURSE ADVISORY COUNCIL.
Joint Favorable Substitute
SPONSORS OF BILL:
The Public Health Committee
REASONS FOR BILL:
To adopt some of the recommendations of the School Nurse Advisory Council by amending the requirements for membership: require school nurses to complete the school nurse orientation program that is offered by The State Department of Education, The Association of School Nurses of Connecticut and any regional education service center that is established pursuant to Sec 10-669. This must be completed one (1) year after hire; and requires that all local or regional school districts enhancing educational requirement and qualifications to complete the annual health services program information survey.
RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:
NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:
Donna Kosiorowski Co-Chair School Nurse Advisory Council: The School Nurse Advisory Council asks that the school nurse representative from ASNC be appointed to the Council from the general membership and not be limited to a private or parochial nurse. It has been difficult recruiting and retaining a representative.
School nurses should have professional development requirements that are specified in state regulation that all new Connecticut school nurses must complete CSDE school nurse orientation program within one year of hire to ensure proper expertise in the school environment. The delivery of Health Care Services by School Nurses should require all districts to participate in CSDE's annual school health services survey to ensure the need for school health programs that support student access to their education and educational environment.
Tim Carroll Director of Health Services, Capitol Region Education Council: The school nurse's role is to provide care for a number of chronic conditions and complex medical problems. School nurses are also responsible for giving prescribed, complex medication regimens for medical behavioral health needs, monitoring severe diabetics and seizure disorders, addressing and treating severe allergic conditions and reactions, and providing ongoing care and support to the host of injuries sustained. This is just a bare minimal of what a school nurse does to treat students and with support of Senate Bill 293 and the training element that the bill provides it would ensure that school nurses receive the proper background needed to serve students. Given the importance of the training it is requested to change the mandatory time frame for training to within three months rather than a full year.
Dr. Karissa Niehoff Executive Director; The Connecticut Association of Schools: The association provides professional development to school leaders in approximately one thousand member schools-public, parochial, charter and magnet-Pre-K through grade 12, also the governing body for high school athletics and student activities at the CT Interscholastic Athletic Conference. While supporting they respectfully asks that their association be a member of the School Nurse Advisory Council considering their association represents numerous schools at all levels.
Sandi Carbonari Former President American Academy of Pediatrics, Hezekiah Beardsley Connecticut Chapter: By passing Senate Bill 293 school nurses can enhance their skills necessary for effective nursing care in school settings. Pediatricians work closely with school nurses and are a part of the care system for a school aged student. This will only help to certify the best health of the student.
Mary Jane Williams Chairperson of Government Relations Committee Connecticut Nurses' Association: Raised bill 293 will provide essential educational services to newly employed school nurses and create a safe environment for children. The importance of Orientation to the Role of the School Nurse as a required method is to prepare the new school nurse for the role of complex school settings with students who present with diverse needs. Nurses who do not have a working knowledge of the educational systems cannot respond to and advocate for students. This bill can only serve to help students and their overall health.
NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:
Mike Musynski Advocacy Manager Connecticut Conference of Municipalities: The organization asks that the committee takes no action until further analysis is conducted on the potential impacts on local budgets and personnel resources can be determined. While the annual reports to the State Board of Education regarding health care program services information is vital so are the unfunded state mandates on municipalities without any input from local officials who would be responsible for compliance of each new mandate. It is imperative that towns and cities are allowed the necessary discretion and flexibility when it comes to staffing needs and this bill may hinder that. That is why further analysis is required before any action is taken to this bill.
Reported by: Jessica Accetta