The ANA is aware of at least 36 states that permit the administration of medications in select settings by assistive personnel, once the requisite training is complete. In spite of the number of states that recognize this practice, there remains sufficient concern that the training is inadequate to ensure safe administration. Even with the “task” shifted to assistive personnel, responsibility for the outcome remains with the nurse.
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) released survey results raising concerns about non-compliance with state regulations, inadequate education and supervision and inconsistent authorization of appropriate duties to support the role of the medication aide. (Journal of Nursing Regulation 2:3, October 2011)
Many nurses are uncomfortable when placed in the position of delegation and/or providing oversight for this activity. Some states have declared it is illegal for nurses to delegate medication administration to a non-nurse.