Title 23
Health and Safety

Chapter 17
Licensing of Healthcare Facilities

R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-17-63

§ 23-17-63. Patient safety — Circulating nurses required in operating rooms.

(a) The following definitions apply in this section:

(1) “Circulating nurse” means registered nurse licensed to practice in the state of Rhode Island who is educated and trained in perioperative nursing.

(2) “Perioperative nursing” means specialized area of nursing practice that involves the planning, coordination, delivery, and evaluation of nursing care to patients whose protective reflexes or self-care abilities are potentially compromised during surgical procedures.

(b) In order to enhance patient safety and protection, each hospital and freestanding ambulatory surgical facility licensed in the state of Rhode Island shall adopt policies and procedures to have a minimum of one circulating nurse physically present in each operating room for the duration of each surgical procedure to:

(1) Coordinate the nursing care and safety needs of patients in the operating room; and

(2) Support the surgical team as appropriate during surgery.

(c) The department of health shall not issue or renew a license unless the applicant is in compliance with this section.

History of Section.
P.L. 2016, ch. 487, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 492, § 1.