Frequently Asked Questions

My child needs to take medication during the school day.  Can the school nurse administer it?

If it is determined that your chid requires medication during the school day, the Department of Education and the Board of Nursing require the following:

  • written parent permission for the administration of medication.

  • a legal order from a physician or nurse practioner, detailing the diagnosis or type of illness being treated, the name of the drug, dosage, time of administration, and possible side effects.

(A form for the above, "Authorization for Administration of Medications" is available on this webpage under "Documents & Forms" and in the nurse's office).

  • the medication should be brought to the school in the original prescription-labeled container.

  • all medication is to be kept in the school health office in a locked cabinet and administered by the school nurse.


Can my child carry his or her own medication?

The only medications approved for self-administration in the school setting are auto-injector mechanisms for the emergency administration of Epinephrine such as Epipen or Auvi-Q, asthma inhalers, and a few other emergency medications.

In addition, only students with self-administration orders on file in the nurse's office are allowed to have medication in their possession (or in their backpack or locker).  Self-administration of medication is a privilege granted to students whose parents and physicians have authorized it.

(A form for the above, "Authorization for Administration of Medications" is available on this webpage under "Documents & Forms" and in the nurse's office).


Why do I need to provide a doctor's order if my child needs an over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol, Advil, or cough syrup/drops?

Nurses practice within the jurisdiction of the Board of Nursing amd within the confines of the Nurse Practice Act. As such, no medication can be administered by a nurse without a physician's order.  This is the case in hospitals, doctor's offices, outpatient clinics, and schools.  It is illegal for a nurse to administer medication without this order.  Additionally, as stated above, the Department of Education also requires written parent approval for medication to be administered in schools.


Is a pharmacy label the same thing as a doctor's order?

No.  A legal doctor's order must list information that is not included on a pharmacy label and it must be signed by a prescribing physician.


My child has been sick.  How do I know if they can come back to school?

Keep in mind that determining a child's readiness to return to school is both an art and a science. THE SCIENCE ALWAYS COMES FIRST! For instance, temperatures must be measured with a real thermometer. A temperature of 100 degrees or higher is considered a fever. Students must be fever-free for a full 24 hours, without the use of Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen, before returning to school. Students experiencing diarrhea should be kept home. Those with recent bouts of vomiting should be eating a regular diet prior to returning to school. If you are unsure about the status of your child's health, contact your family physician.The health of the school community depends on all of us!

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