(Mar 5) – The House Education committee gave approval today to a bill sponsored by Rep. Kyle Mullica, D-Thornton, to hire more school nurses in schools across Colorado, especially schools in rural areas and in disadvantaged communities.
“This bill is critical because it ensures our children have access to professional health care professionals in their schools. School nurses don’t just handle putting a bandaid on kids, they provide a diverse array of health care services to our children while also handling medical emergencies that occur during the school day,” said Rep. Mullica. “As a nurse, I see this first hand. We have a real issue when untrained school staff are administering medication to students with chronic illnesses. That’s dangerous for the staff and that’s especially dangerous for the students.”
Rep. Mullica is a trained trauma nurse by profession.
HB19-1203 would provide grants to improve the ratio of school nurses to students while also prioritizing nurses in rural areas and lower-income communities. This bill also allows school nurses to partner with local public health agencies so that nurse practitioners can also serve in schools.
Currently, there are 632 nurses that serve 910,000 school-aged students. That’s roughly one nurse for every 1500 to 1700 students.
HB19-1203 passed the House Education committee with unanimous bipartisan support and now heads to the Appropriations committee.