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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.347

Introduced by Representatives Botzow of Pownal, Chen of Mendon, Dostis of Waterbury, Hosford of Waitsfield, Lenes of Shelburne, Leriche of Hardwick, Orr of Charlotte and Spengler of Colchester

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Classified positions; department of education; school nurse consultant

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to ensure that the currently existing, but unfilled, position of school nurse consultant:  (1) is renamed to identify better the position; (2) is funded adequately; and (3) is filled before the beginning of the 2007–2008 academic year.

AN ACT RELATING TO A SCHOOL NURSE CONSULTANT AT THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS

The general assembly finds:

(1)  Students learn best when they are physically and emotionally healthy, well-nourished, and rested.

(2)  School nurses are responsible for the health and safety of students while they are at school.

(3)  The goal for school nurses is to help students maintain optimal health in order to maximize learning.

(4)  Education laws, regulations, and policies regarding the delivery of health care in schools must be consistent with the Vermont board of nursing regulations and the Vermont nursing standards of practice.

(5)  Superintendents, principals, teachers, and staff do not have the same level of knowledge of nursing and the medical community as licensed school nurses.

(6)  School personnel rely on school nurses for information about health care and the delivery of health care in a school setting.

(7)  The board of nurses regulates nursing in every setting and does not always understand the complexities of health care delivery in the school setting.

(8)  School nurses hold a unique position within the school setting because they are licensed by both the department of education and the board of nursing, but they are employed by the department of education.

(9)  School nurses must be familiar with educational law, nursing regulations, federal HIPPA and FERPA laws, and the Scope and Standards of Professional Nursing Practice.

(10)  School nurses work independently; they do not work under the direction of a specific physician.  They often work in isolation from other nurses and health care professionals whom they could rely upon for support, advice, and comradeship.

(11)  Nonmedical personnel within the department of education do not have the expertise necessary to serve as a liaison between the department of educations and the board of nursing.

(12)  There is a crucial need for a licensed school nurse in the department of education who is knowledgeable in Vermont nursing practice, school nursing, and Vermont education law to act as a consultant for school nurses and the department of education.

(13)  There are school nurse consultants employed in 40 states.  At present, there is no one serving this essential position in Vermont.

Sec. 2.  DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION POSITION; EDUCATION CONSULTANT II: SCHOOL NURSE CONSULTANT

(a)  For fiscal year 2008, there is appropriated to the department of education from the general fund the amount of $48,000.00 for personal services of one full-time “education consultant II,”  which position shall be renamed “education consultant II:  school nurse consultant.” 

(b)  The commissioner of education is directed to fill the position of education consultant II:  school nurse consultant before August 15, 2007.

(c)  The sums appropriated in subsection (a) of this section are intended to be in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other funds available for this position.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us