RN Circulator Legislation Heard in Committees

Publish Date: March 30, 2016


Last week Legal and Government Affairs Manager, Danielle Glover, AORN members Julie-Ann Greenhalgh and Jeanine Borozny, and Rhode Island State Nurses Association (RISNA) Executive Director, Donna Policastro, testified in front of the House Health, Education, and Welfare Committee and the Senate Health and Human Services Committee in support of House bill 7448 and Senate bill 2469, both of which would require an RN as Circulator for every operating room in hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers for the duration of the procedure. Both Committees held the bill for further study. House bill 7448 is sponsored by Representative Joe McNamara, Chair, House Health Education and Welfare Committee. Senate bill 2469 is sponsored by Senator Cynthia Coyne who is member of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. Both primary sponsors introduced the bills to protect patient safety in Rhode Island operating rooms.

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 operating rooms. Organizations such as the Rhode Island Academy of Physician Assistants and Rhode Island Psychological Association also signed on in support of HB7448.

AORN Government Affairs will continue to advocate for these bills and provide updates on their progression. If you are interested in helping with this bill or want to learn how to become involved in legislative efforts in your state, please contact Danielle Glover at dglover@aorn.org.