Governor Christie has signed Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman’s bill requiring the State to institute tougher training and educational standards for securing a school nurse certification, including new clinical experience requirements.
Gov. Christie on May 11 signed Sen. Kip Bateman’s bill to institute tougher requirements for school nurse certification. The new clinical experience education and training requirements are designed to enable school nurses to better serve children Statewide. (Flickr)
“School nurses are often the first people to identify the early signs of a serious behavioral health or physical condition. For a child living below the poverty line, a school nurse may be the only health professional they see,” Senator Bateman (R-16) said. “The new hands-on training requirements mandated under this law will ensure all school nurses are fully prepared to provide the highest level of care for children with unique and complex needs.”
State standards require anyone seeking a school nurse certification to have a bachelor’s degree and a license as a registered nurse. Senator Bateman’s S-1381, which was signed into law on May 11, expands State requirements for certification to also include:
- Clinical experience in a school nurse office
- Completion of at least 30 credits in subject areas determined by the state board
- Completion of a college-supervised school nurse practicum experience in a school nurse office and a classroom
Under the new law, non-instructional school nurses need to complete at least 21 credits in subject areas determined by the state board and clinical experience in a school nurse office, in addition to holding a license as a registered nurse and a bachelor’s degree.
Senator Bateman is a longstanding advocate for school nurses. In March, he was honored by the NJ State School Nurses Association for his legislative efforts to support school nurses Statewide, including his bill to combat the opioid epidemic by allowing school nurses to administer Narcan on school grounds.
“School nurses work hard every day to keep our children safe and healthy,” Senator Bateman said. “This law will ensure they can continue to serve as an indispensable resource for the parents, teachers and caregivers who rely on their insurmountable compassion and dedication. I am proud to support school nurses and I will continue to work hard on their behalf.”
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