PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island College School of Nursing has become the first public nursing school in the state to prohibit cigarette smoking or use of tobacco products by its students while in uniform or representing the school.
The initiative was led last summer by three nursing students – Ericka Samoorian, president of the RIC Student Nurses Association; Alicia Harris, association treasurer and Alexandra Gadbois, association project coordinator. The three are all members of the class of 2014.
Dr. Michael Fine, director of the R.I. Department of Health, presented the students with a certificate in recognition of their efforts at a ceremony at RIC last month.
According to the school’s website, Fine said that nurses have the highest smoking rate of health professionals.
RIC reported that the students found in a survey last summer that 87 percent of their classmates favored a tobacco ban.
The students worked with the R.I. Department of Health and the Urban League of Rhode Island on the project. •