TRENTON, NJ - Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex) requiring school nurses to meet additional training, clinical experience and education requirements has cleared the Senate Education Committee.

“A school nurse’s responsibilities extend far beyond placing a Band-Aid on a scraped knee,” Bateman said. “For a child living below the poverty line, a school nurse may be the only health professional they see. They are truly on the front lines of protecting a child’s health and welfare. Increasing training and clinical experience requirements will ensure all school nurses are fully equipped to identify the early signs of serious health problems and provide the highest level of care for kids with diverse and complex needs.”

Bateman’s proposalwould codify previous state standards to require that in addition to holding a license as a registered nurse and a bachelor’s degree a candidate for a school nurse endorsement must also complete at least 30 credits in subject areas determined by the state board.

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Candidates must also obtain clinical experience in a school nurse office and a college-supervised school nurse practicum experience in a school nurse office and a classroom.

Under the bill non-instructional school nurses would 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.