Report Title:

Public Health Nursing; School Health Services


Appropriates funds for registered nurses to provide school health services in public schools. Requires the Department of Health to create permanent nursing positions. (HB244 HD1)


H.B. NO.



H.D. 1






relating to health.



SECTION 1. The legislature finds that it is imperative that Hawaii’s public school students receive adequate health care services. Currently, students in Hawaii’s public schools who have varying degrees of health challenges are cared for by school health aides under the supervision of district public health nurses. Given the growing complexity of student health and medical needs, there is a need for registered nurses who can consistently provide essential health services to the growing numbers of students with health challenges in the public schools.

It is the intent of the legislature to continue the funding provided by Act 264, Session Laws of Hawaii 2001, and to make permanent the twenty-nine school nurse/public health nurse positions serving Hawaii’s public schools throughout the State.

Currently, there are two hundred fifty-five public schools throughout the State and an additional twenty-five charter schools. Before Act 264, Session Laws of Hawaii, 2001, the ratio of district public health nurses to schools averaged about one nurse to every four to five schools. After funding was provided to hire additional registered nurses to be assigned to public school complexes under Act 264, Session Laws of Hawaii 2001, this ratio dropped to about one nurse to every two to three schools. Each school health nurse/public health nurse will cover an average of about four schools, as the nurse's main function will be to provide school health services.

The purpose of this Act is to appropriate funds to continue funding the registered nurses originally hired under Act 264, Session Laws of Hawaii 2001, and to create permanent position counts as part of the public health nursing services program. This will enable enhanced coverage by the school nurse/public health nurses and the district public health nurses to address the myriad of medical and health needs presented by students in public schools.

SECTION 2. The department of health shall permanently create           full-time registered nurse positions to staff public schools in the State to provide school health services. Beginning on July 1, 2005, the department of health shall provide funding for these nursing positions within its overall departmental budget without recourse to a separate appropriation.

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $1 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2003-2004 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2004-2005 to retain full-time registered nurses within the department of health; provided that:

(1) Each registered nurse shall be assigned to specific public schools for provision of school health services at all the public schools; and

(2) These registered nurses also shall be included as part of the department of education’s comprehensive student support system.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of health for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval, except that section 3 shall take effect on July 1, 2003.