OLYMPIA – Improving the health of Washington’s schoolchildren was the driving concern behind the state House’s approval today of legislation concerning the supervision of school nurses.
HB 1790, sponsored by Rep. Larry Springer (D-Kirkland), recognizes that school nurses serve two distinct functions: providing students with medical information and providing direct health care to schoolchildren.
“A school setting today is much different from when I taught school three decades ago,” Springer explained. “Today we not only teach our students, we feed them, we shelter them, we clothe them, and we provide medical care when that is necessary. That’s led to the need for having school nurses on site in most of our schools.”
The measure requires that when providing health care services to students, school nurses should be under the direct supervision of a trained nurse.
“This is a common sense approach,” said Springer. “We need to ensure that the supervision of a medical procedure is in the hands of another health care professional as opposed to a principal.”
The measure passed the House today by a 83-14 vote.
HB 1790 was originally approved by the state House last year, but did not reach the floor of the full Senate.