RI Senate Committee Moves RN Circulator Legislation

Publish Date: May 25, 2016


On Thursday, May 19, the Rhode Island Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed Senate bill 2469 out of committee. S 2469, requires there to be an RN Circulator in every operating room, for every patient, for the duration of the procedure in hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers. The bill will soon move to the Senate floor for vote.

In late March, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee heard testimony on the bill. Those who testified in favor of the bill include: Danielle Glover, AORN Legal & Government Affairs Manager; Julie Ann Greenhaulgh, Rhode Island AORN member; and Donna Policastro, Rhode Island State Nurses Association (RISNA) Executive Director. Senate bill 2469 is sponsored by Senator Cynthia Coyne who is member of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

The House Health, Environment, and Welfare Committee also heard testimony from Glover, Greenhaulgh and Policastor, as well as other supporters on the House bill version, H 7448, in March. House bill 7448 is sponsored by Representative Joe McNamara, Chair, House Health Education and Welfare Committee.

AORN maintains that every surgical patient deserves a perioperative registered nurse for the duration of any operative or other invasive procedure and actively promotes laws and regulations to ensure the supervisory presence of the professional RN in the perioperative setting. Over 30 states address the role of RN Circulators in operating rooms. AORN and Rhode Island perioperative nurses started working with RISNA and legislators last fall to ensure patient safety is paramount in the state’s operating rooms.

AORN will continue to strongly support this legislation. If you live in Rhode Island and are interested in getting involved in this effort, please contact Danielle Glover. If you are interested in pursuing a similar effort in your state, please also reach out to Danielle.