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Medication administration practices of school nurses
The Journal of school health
  • Ann Marie McCarthy, University of Iowa
  • M. W. Kelly
  • D. Reed
Document Type
Peer Reviewed
Publication Date
NLM Title Abbreviation
J Sch Health
PubMed ID
This study assessed the medication administration practices of school nurses. From a random sample of 1,000 members of the National Association of School Nurses, 649 (64.9%) completed the survey developed for the study. These school nurses report that during a typical day, 5.6% of children receive medication in school, with 3.3% receiving medications for ADHD. Almost all the school nurses follow written guidelines for administering medication. Potential problems were identified in documenting side effects of medications, storage of medications, student self-administration practices, and appropriate authorization of nonprescription drug use. Most nurses (75.6%) delegate medication administration to unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP), with secretaries (66.2%) the most common UAP. Discomfort with delegation and confusion over state nurse practice laws were noted. Errors in administering medications were reported by 48.5% of the school nurses, with missed dose (79.7%) the most common error. Factors identified as contributing to errors included use of UAP and responsibility for large numbers of students.
  • Adolescent,
  • Child,
  • Drug Administration Schedule,
  • Drug Therapy,
  • Female,
  • Health Care Surveys,
  • Humans,
  • Male,
  • Medication Errors/statistics & numerical data,
  • Medication Systems,
  • Physician's Practice Patterns,
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic,
  • School Nursing/organization & administration,
  • United States
Published Article/Book Citation
The Journal of school health, 70:9 (2000) pp.371-376.
Citation Information
Ann Marie McCarthy, M. W. Kelly and D. Reed. "Medication administration practices of school nurses" The Journal of school health Vol. 70 Iss. 9 (2000) p. 371 - 376 ISSN: 0022-4391
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