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School Nursing Evidence-based Clinical Practice Guideline: Medication Administration in Schools

Release Date: 08/27/2021
Expiration Date: 08/27/2026

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Martha Dewey Bergren, DNS, RN, NCSN, PHNA-BC, FNASN, FASHA, FAAN
Clinical Professor Emerita, University of Illinois Chicago College of Nursing
Executive Editor, The Journal of School Nursing

Erin D. Maughan, PhD, RN, PHNA-BC, FNASN, FAAN
Director of Research
Silver Spring, Maryland

School nurses care for 56.4 million students in elementary, middle, and high school across the United States, 25% of whom have chronic conditions, many of whom require medication during the school day. Other students require medication for acute health problems, medications for life threatening emergencies, or as needed (prn) medications for transient health issues, discomfort, or other symptoms.

This guideline seeks to create a uniform clinical practice guideline for the administration of medication in schools, and to give the school nurse evidence-based recommendations for the safe care of Pre-K-12 students who receive medications during the day. Specifically, this guideline will improve the structure, processes and outcomes of medication administration in schools. Goals include:

  • Decrease in medication errors.
  • Adoption of standardized reporting of medication errors.
  • Strengthen security measures and resources.
  • Increase annual medication administration audits across school systems.
  • Increase adoption of Fair and Just Culture.
  • Adoption of medication reconciliation practices.

This guideline was made possible through support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the cooperative agreement, “National Collaboration to Support Health, Wellness and Academic Success of School-Age Children” (CDC-RFA-DP16-1601).

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