Rhode Island Certified School Nurse Teacher Association (RICSNTA)
Nurse Specialists in School Health, We Care for Rhode Islands Children

RICSNTA Legislative Update, July 2021

Posted 2 months ago by Emilie Cunningham-Joost

Hello members,

I hope everyone is taking some time to rest, relax, and enjoy some vacation time.  Since March 2020, school nurses across the state worked tirelessly to address myriad issues regarding the COVID 19 pandemic.  We are very PROUD of our contribution to the mitigation efforts and concurrently, continuing to provide service and support to our students, families, and staff during this very challenging 2020-2021 school year.

RICSNTA worked very hard on several legislative issues, especially on the certification bills.  I am very happy to announce that the bills became law earlier this month!!!  These bills preserve the integrity of the high standard of nursing care required for delivery of optimal health services to our students.  Congratulations and thanks to the committee who spent many hours educating  the legislature about the importance of certification; that such certification ensures nurses are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to provide high quality nursing services to students across the state.  And thank you to members for reaching out to your legislators regarding the significance and importance of CSNT certification!!! Your support is greatly appreciated and critical to our success on legislative matters.

The following is a summary of legislation that passed during this 2021 session.  Please be reminded that RICSNTA testified on several other very important bills but those bills died in committee/did not pass into law.

Certification Bills:  H 5197A, Certification, 2021  and  S 87A, Certification, 2021  became law on July 10,2021.  Effective August 1, 2021, all school districts will be required to employ Certified School Nurse Teachers.  Nurses with the Registered School Nurse Certificate who were hired before 8/1/21 will be grandfathered into the school district where they were hired with that certification.  Those nurses must obtain CSNT certification if they seek employment as a school nurse in another district.

Sunscreen billsH 5164, Sunscreen, 2021  and  S 34A 2021, Sunscreen    were signed into law on July 9, 2021.  Effective immediately, any person may possess and use, without a physician’s note or prescription,  an OTC, FDA approved topical sunscreen product while on school property and at school sponsored events.  Students in grades K-5 must have a written note from their parent.  

No school personnel will be required to assist in applying the sunscreen.

The Legislative Committee welcomes anyone who is interested in helping and serving on this committee.  Many hands make light work…..this is a big job that is made much easier when the duties are shared by a small group of CSNTs.

Best wishes for a safe, happy, healthy summer,

Deb Svitil

President, RICSNTA