When the State Board of Education adopted changes to the licensing code in July, it reduced the preparation requirements for certified school nurses. Although the N.J. Department of Education maintained that school nurses could acquire the necessary knowledge through professional development, NJEA and the New Jersey State School Nurses Association (NJSSNA) argued that these amendments would put the health and safety of public school students and staff at risk.
Because Asw. Marlene Caride (D-36) agrees with the position of NJEA and NJSSNA, she has introduced new legislation (A-4334) to restore the certification requirements recently eliminated by the State Board of Education. Specifically, the bill would require a minimum of 30 semester hours for instructional nurses and 21 hours for non-instructional nurses. The bill would also require all instructional nurses to complete a minimum of six credits in a college-supervised school nurse practicum, half of which is completed in a school nurse office.
The bill, which was introduced in September, has been referred to the Assembly Education Committee.