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RN Circulator Legislation Introduced in North Carolina

Publish Date: March 30, 2015

Senator Stan Bingham introduced legislation on March 4, 2015 to enhance patient safety in North Carolina operating rooms. Senate bill 157, would require at least one circulating nurse to be physically present in each operating room for the duration of each surgical procedure in all North Carolina hospitals and ambulatory surgical facilities. The circulating nurse would be required to be a registered nurse who is educated and trained in perioperative nursing.

On March 26, 2015, Representative Gale Adcock, a Family Nurse Practitioner, filed House Bill 365, the same piece of legislation in the House. This is the first session RN Circulator legislation has been introduced in the House and the second session for legislation in the Senate. AORN is thrilled to have a registered nurse championing such important legislation in the House, and we are excited to work with Senator Bingham again as he, and other bill sponsors, work to enhance patient safety in the O.R. Currently, S 157 is in the Rules Committee waiting to be heard and moved to a committee of jurisdiction.

Should the bill be signed into law, North Carolina would join over 30 states that address a registered nurse serving as circulator in hospitals and ASCs. Requiring an RN as circulator is the primary legislative priority of AORN as determined by the AORN Board of Directors.

AORN Government Affairs is working closely with North Carolina members, the North Carolina Council of periOperative Registered Nurses (NCCORN), and our lobbyists to advocate for the passage of this bill. We will need your assistance as the bill moves through the legislature. If you live in North Carolina, please be ready to quickly respond to email requests seeking your involvement as the initiative proceeds.

If you are interested in discussing next steps, please contact Danielle Glover, AORN Government Affairs Associate.