State Board Approves School Medication Administration Policy

April 15, 2004

Charleston, W.Va. -The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBOE) today approved a revised school medication administration policy during its monthly meeting.  

“This policy allows school staff to have reasonable control regarding non-prescription medications, especially at the elementary and middle school level,” said WVBOE Vice President Barbara Fish. “The policy also gives county boards of education the flexibility to devise medication procedures that meet the needs within their counties. One example of this flexibility is that Policy 2422.8 provides county boards of education with the option to allow high school student to carry and self-administer non-prescription medication during the school day with a written parent authorization form.”  

The Board of Education Committee for Medication Administration submitted a new version of Policy 2422.8 during the March Board meeting in Charleston. This version of Policy 2422.8 replaces the original version placed on public comment in September 2003.  

“We worked in collaboration with the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses, the West Virginia School Nurses Association, parents, county boards of education, superintendents, building administrators, physicians and West Virginia Department of Education staff in an effort to develop a policy that our entire state could embrace,” said Fish. “While full consensus was never reached, we believe Policy 2422.8 follows the letter of the law and is in the best interest of the children.”  

The Medication Administration Committee looked at the laws and policies regarding school nurses and their licensure and determined that no law or policy specifies that only school nurses may administer non-prescription medications. As a result, the Committee recommended taking this responsibility from nurses in order to safeguard their nursing licenses. This new policy places the responsibility for administering non-prescription medication with the building administrator.  

In addition to outlining specific procedures for medication administration and the roles and responsibilities of school personnel, parents and students, the new version of the medication policy also addresses medication storage, recording and student confidentiality.  

For more information regarding the medication policy contact Becky King, Coordinator for the Office of Student Services and Health Promotion, at (304) 558-8830.

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