March 2015 Legislation
Legislative sessions have resumed at the State House. Currently
there are 2 bills being discussed that will impact all RI School Nurse-
The first bill is H-5047 which is related to Opioid antagonists
(Narcan) kits in the school setting, grades 6-12. With the recent increase
of overdoses in schools with children and staff, the proponent of said bill
feels this is vital to have in nurse’s office. This was proposed end of
January 2015, but has been tabled for further discussion. This kit may
not be available for this year, and recommendations for all school nurse-
teachers to be trained in utilizing this drug.
The second bill is S-0084 which is related to the administration of
Epi-pen on an emergency basis to students who do not have prior written
authorization of a health care provider or the parents of an unidentified
allergic student. Discussions are being held as it should to be a witnessed
event and/or assessment by school nurse-teacher, covered under RI
Good Samaritan Act, concerns of an allergic reaction to the Epinephrine
School nursing practice, like all nursing practice, is guided by
evidence. Over the past ten years, there has been growing evidence that
questions the efficacy of routine screenings of students for scoliosis. RI
is one of the 15 states that still require scoliosis screenings.Consideration
of repealing this mandatory screening is just in beginning stages of
There is no legal action being taken at this time, but discussions
have been had regarding religious exemptions for vaccines. With the
recent outbreak of measles occurring at Disneyland, California and
Chicago day care centers; parents are calling for stronger measures.
Measles, mumps and rubella (German measles) is administered between
ages of 12 -15 months of infant’s life. Parental concerns are being heard
from those who utilize daycares, or are traveling that their babies are too
young to be vaccinated and are at high risk for catching measles virus.
There is talk about withdrawing religious exemptions and only accepting
medical exemptions or having the religious leader sign off on vaccine
exemptions. Ensuring vaccination compliance is an endless pursuit of
this school nurse-teacher.
Upcoming Screenings: Dental screenings with Dr. Jennifer Kuchar, our
new school dentist.