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J Sch Nurs. 2006 Jun;22(3):148-55.

Medication administration practices in Pennsylvania schools.

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Department of Nursing, Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA, USA.


As a result of various health concerns, children are receiving an increased number of medications while at school. In Pennsylvania, the School Code mandates a ratio of 1 certified school nurse to 1,500 students, which may mean that 1 school nurse is covering 3-5 buildings. This implies that unlicensed personnel are administering medications, a violation of licensing laws in Pennsylvania. The purpose of this study was to determine the policies and practices that Pennsylvania public schools have in place regarding medication administration. The sample consisted of 314 state-certified school nurses who returned a 71-question survey. Findings indicated that school nurses are very concerned about issues related to medication administration. Additional findings identified the lack of standing orders to administer over-the-counter medications, the increase in medication errors when the school nurse had responsibility for multiple buildings, and the lack of understanding of the ramifications of the Nurse Practice Act on school nursing practice in regard to delegation. Recommendations for practice include development of detailed policies and procedures and collaboration among all stakeholders in the development of policies that address legal issues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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