2020 Annual Report of the Legislative Committee
According to Article V, Section 1. A. of the New Hampshire School Nurses’ Association (NHSNA) Constitution & By-Laws, the Legislative Committee aids in planning, drafting or presenting desired legislation to State Legislature; upgrades the standards of employment for school nurses; and, maintains an awareness of legislation and/or regulations pertinent to the practice of Nursing and School Nursing.
In fulfilling these duties, the NHSNA Legislative Committee is committed to working diligently on activities and initiatives that impact New Hampshire (NH) school children, their families and their school communities through the following:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the General Court has suspended all legislative activities through May 4, 2020. The Committee continues monitoring of a number of bills that have the potential to impact NH children, including:
It has been a rewarding challenge to represent the NH school nurses, school children and school communities through my work on the Legislative committee, and I would encourage anyone to consider joining us – your expertise and voice count!
Traci Fairbanks, RN
Legislative Committee Chair
SB 584: Relative to policies for students with head injuries
History: This bill requires the Department of Education to collaborate with the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire to develop a return to learning policy and plan for students with concussions and brain injuries.
Children between the ages 0-4 years and 15-19 years are among some of the most likely victims of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) related emergencies. In 2017, sports-related concussion affected nearly 2.5 million high school students. Presently NH laws target head injury policies for student sports and focus only on returning to athletic activities.
The effects of pediatric TBI on cognition, behavior & adjustment often persist and can worsen over time. Children with TBI have been found to have significant academic difficulties characterized by school failure and deficits in academic achievement. In addition, students who sustain less severe injuries often fail to receive school accommodations despite health care provider recommendations that they be made available for several weeks to months post-injury.
Committee: Senate Education & Workforce Development
Sponsors: Sen. David Watters; Rep. Rick Ladd; Rep. Glenn Cordelli; Rep. Chuck Grassie; Sen. Bob Giuda; Sen. Jay Kahn; and Sen. Cindy Rosenwald
A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at 9:45 am in LOB 103.
History: This bill requires every school in which a student with a life-threatening food allergy is enrolled to maintain a food allergy management and prevention plan.
Food allergies are a public health concern affecting an estimated 8% of children in the U.S., about 1 in 13, or 2 students per classroom. Most of these children attend federal- and state-supported schools or before and after care programs. Strict avoidance of the allergen is the only way to prevent a reaction. Because it is not always possible to avoid the allergen, it is important to develop and implement plans for preventing allergic reactions as well as responding to an allergy emergency, including anaphylaxis.
The following outlines NH laws already governing the use of epinephrine in schools and other public settings:
NH Public Health Title X Chapter 126-A Section 126-A:71governs the training requirements and administration of epinephrine by any employee or agent of an authorized entity, and defines “authorized entity" to include recreation camps and day care facilities, but excludes elementary, secondary & postsecondary educational institutions eligible to establish policies & guidelines under RSA 200
At the public hearing on January 21st, the Chair decided to form a subcommittee to discuss the issues. Three Representatives, Cherie White from DOE, Representative Patty Cornell and Nancy Wells from NHSNA will meet on January 28th, 2020 to discuss.
Bill Title: Establishing a commission on mental health education programs.
Summary: This bill establishes a commission to develop and promote mental health programs in kindergarten through grade 12. The bill has a list of professions that should be included on the commission. Nurses are not listed.
Full Bill Text: https://legiscan.com/NH/text/HB131/2019
Bill Sponsors: Patricia Cornell, HIllsborough, District 18
Connie Van Houten Hillsborough, District 45
Donovan Fenton Cheshire, District 8
Joelle Martin Hillsborough, Milford, District 23
Mary Heath Hillsborough District 14
Skip Berrien Rockingham District 18
Tamara Le Rockingham District 31
Timothy Smith Hillsborough District 17
1/02/2019: Introduced in the House and assigned to House Education Committee
1/16/2019: Public Hearing 10:15 am in LOB 207 -
Laurie Fleming from NHSNA attended and testified to the importance of having a nurse, more specifically a school nurse, on the commission
2/14/2019: Passed the House with amendment. Amendment included " One school nurse, appointed by the New Hampshire School Nurses' Association
7/19/2019 Passed and Signed by Governor Sununu
7/24/2019 Legislative clerk has requested that NHSNA appoint someone to the task force
Bill Title: establishing the position of school nurse coordinator in the department of education and making an appropriation therefor
Summary: To establish within the division of learner support the position of school nurse coordinator who shall be a classified employee qualified to hold such position by reason of education and experience. The school nurse coordinator shall coordinate and guide school nurses and other school personnel responsible for student health care in the areas of student health and wellness, safety, behavioral and mental health, and alcohol and substance misuse. The school nurse coordinator shall be a resource for administrators, professional development, parental education, and legislators.
This position currently is vacant. This bill would fund the position withing the NHDOE. NHSNA strongly supports this bill and helped craft it with Representative Polly Campion.
Bill Status: 1/03/2019 Introduced in the House
2/27/2019 Passed the House, 198-146 Proceed to Senate
Billed was passed as part of HB1 and took effect July 1, 2019.
Senate Bill 137 Title: relative to the certification of school nurses Full Bill Text
Summary: This bill provides for the application of education and certification requirements for school nurses. This bill would make changes to the current certification requirements in the following ways:
This bill has been assigned to the Senate Education and Workforce Development Committee
3/12/2019: Hearing March 12th Four people testified in favor, none against.
Executive session was held the same day. VOTE: 4 to 1 in favor,
3/21/2019: Senate Passed and it passed to the house
5/01/2019: House Education Committed Passed with a vote of 12-7
5/08/2019 Passed the House on the Consent Agenda
2019-06-27 - Law Without Signature 06/26/2019; Chapter 0144
Bill Title: relative to repealing school nurse certification
Summary: To amend RSA: 200:29 and repeal school nurse certification
Bill Sponsors: Josh Yokela, Rockingham District 33
Dennis Acton, Rockingham District 10
Timothy Lang Belknap- District 04
Carol McGuire Merrimack- District 29
Sean Morrison Rockingham- District 09
Max Abrahamson Rockingham- District 20
Rick Ladd Grafton- District 04
Ralph Boehm Hillsborough- District 20
Russell Ober Hillsborough- District 37
Chris True Rockingham- District 04
01/02/2019 Introduced and assigned to Education Committee
1/8/2019 Public Hearing Scheduled for 01/22/2019 01:00 pm LOB 207
NHSNA members will be present and testify to kill this bill.
NHNA members will be present and testify to kill this bill.
Kent Street Coalition will have parents testify to kill this bill.
Children's Behavioral Health Coalition and New Futures will submit written testimony to kill the bill.
2/5/19: Executive Session of the The Education Committee Split vote 10 to 10
3/07/2019: This bill was Tabled on the floor of the house. This means that the bill will NOT move forward.
Senate Bill 322, passed in May 2016, allows school nurses to maintain a stock bronchodilator for the emergency treatment of asthma. The use of the bronchodilator is limited to those students with a diagnosis of asthma, have a current Asthma Action Plan, and whose own inhaler is not available. The inhaler can be used for multiple students but each student must be provided with a separate spacer. The spacers cannot be shared. The Office of Student Wellness website has is a powerpoint module that school nurses are welcome to use or adapt for staff training. Each school year the use of the stock bronchodilator is to be reported; the form is also posted on the website.
The New Hampshire School Nurses Association has been collaborating with the New Hampshire Department of Education, the New Hampshire Public Health Association, the New Hampshire Asthma Collaborative, Acelleron and Convenient MD to find bronchodilator, spacer and nebulizer resources.
HISTORY: The board of the New Hampshire School Nurses' Association is collaborating with the New Hampshire Department of Education to develop a certification process for School Nurses. It is the postion of NHSNA that certification would establish a standard of practice to ensure that all children are receiving the highest level of health care that will allow them to reach their full educational potential. This certification will be separate from teacher certification and school nurses will not be expected to teach.
There are approximately 500 school nurses in New Hampshire, serving 618 public and private schools. The role of the professional school nurse is currently defined by New Hampshire School Nurse Certification Law (RSA 200:29, II), with the current rules approved by JLCAR (Ed 306.12). Certification ensures a professional level of qualification for the position of school nurse, which will support a minimal standard of care for students with acute and chronic health needs in school.
New Hampshire school nurses are members of a unique discipline of professional nursing and are often the sole healthcare providers in their districts. They are both an independent clinician and manager of school health services. It is imperative that school nurses are prepared for and practice at the same level as their colleagues, such as teachers who are certified, as well as other adjunct therapists who are prepared with Masters Degrees, for example occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech therapists.
HISTORY: This bill was introduced lin 2016 by Senator D’Alessandro of the Education Committee and was referred to committee. This bill allows schools to acquire and maintain a supply of epinephrine auto-injectors with the intent of making them available to ANY student showing symptoms of anaphylaxis, and for the school nurse to train designated school personnel to receive training in the administration of an epinephrine auto-injector to any student with symptoms of anaphylaxis.
FULL BILL FOUND HERE
Completed Legislative Action
Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)
Status: Passed on May 4 2016 - 100% progression
Action: 2016-05-04 - Signed by the Governor on 05/03/2016; Chapter 0039;
Text: Latest bill text (Chaptered) [HTML]
The school nurse has the authority to possess and administer epinephrine as a stock medication to use in the event of anaphylaxis, a severe and life threatening allergic reaction. There are students who experience their initial allergic episode during the school day and having access to epinephrine has prevented serious life threatening results. An EpiPen provides a safe and easy delivery system of epinephrine that can be used by an unlicensed person. This module has been developed as a training tool for school staff and includes essential information about anaphylaxis and the use of an EpiPen. Each school nurse maintains a list of those staff members trained. We would like to thank the senior nursing students from the University of New Hampshire for participating in this project.
Glucagon Administration Training for Non-Medical School Personnel
A joint project project of NHSNA, Office of Student Wellness and Senior UNH Nursing Students
In an effort to provide the highest quality information and training in an accessible manner, the Office of Student Wellness is please to provide the following information on the administration of Glucagon to students by non-medical personnel. School nursing staff are encouraged to utilize the documents below and to contact our office with questions. We would like to thank the senior nursing students from the University of New Hampshire for participating in this project.
Glucagon Training PowerPoint Please be aware that the slides will advance after one minute, your arrow buttons will work to advance or back up.
The New Hampshire School Nurses' Association formed a study committee in October 2015 to look at the issue of Naloxone in the schools. Their work is now complete and the board of the NHSNA approved the a position statement for distribution.
Opioid related overdose kills hundreds in New Hampshire every year. Many of these deaths are preventable with the timely use of an opioid antagonist (naloxone) as well as the quick summoning of EMS and the initiation of care. NH school nurses, as allowed by local administration and policy, are in the position to administer life-saving measures in the event of an opioid overdose. In addition, as an integral part of the interdisciplinary team, school nurses are also in the unique position to provide prevention awareness and support to students, family, faculty, and staff-- a critical step in the on-going management of substance abuse and misuse.
In response to the opioid crisis in New Hampshire, the state has created the campaign "Anyone. Anytime." to educate the public and professionals about addiction, emergency overdose medications, and support services for anyone experiencing opioid addiction.
Posted March 16th, 2016
The board determined that an off label medication can be administered or delegated with an appropriate provider order. The nurse should be familiar with the drug purpose and side effects in relation to the client that is receiving the medication.
The NH Executive Council on in April 2014 approved a $1.3 million contract with an Arizona company to get a registry up and running. Everyone who administers vaccinations will enter information into the system, but only designated DHHS personnel would have the passwords needed to access the information on an aggregate or individual basis.
Years in the making, N.H. immunization registry hits snag during rulemaking
By CASEY McDERMOTT, Concord Monitor Staff: January 4, 2015
Since 2010, it has been illegal (RSA 126 K) for NH youth under 18 year of age to buy and/or use ENDS. ENDS are also included in the indoor clean air act (Indoor Smoking Act, RSA 155:64-77), making it illegal to use them in all the same places as combustible (tobacco) cigarettes.