This month Ask Nancy provides some guidance on what private schools are required to do regarding disbursement of medicine to private school students.


Our school does not have a nurse.  How can we get staff trained to support students who need to take medicine during the school day?  

Nancy says:

The WA State Department of Health’s Katherine Graff BSN, RN, School and Child Care Immunization Nurse Consultant shared that the laws about medication in schools applies equally to public and private schools.   

Katherine suggests schools read the OSPI 2015 Guidelines for Medication Administration in Schools when you have questions as it is a comprehensive guide.

On page 15 of the guide, section V on TRAINING OF UNLICENSED ASSISTIVE PERSONNEL IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICATION outlines the following protocol:

UAP training, competency, evaluations and supervision

The delegating RN is responsible for ongoing training, competency, evaluations, and supervision of the UAP with appropriate documentation of the entire training process.

Medication statutes require that UAP designated by district policy to administer medications, are to be delegated to, trained, and supervised by a professional person licensed pursuant to chapter 18.71 RCW or chapter 18.79 RCW, as it applies to RNs or ARNPs.

Prior to the beginning of a new school year, district administration or building principals, in consultation with the RN, identify in writing at least two staff persons per building to administer medications for the coming school year. These individuals shall receive training in the following prior to administering medications to students:

  • A. Washington State statutes and school board policies and procedures governing the administration of medications.
  • B. Medication administration procedures, including description of when not to administer a medication.
  • C. Procedures to follow in the event of a medication error, including missed or delayed doses.
  • D. Required charting.
  • E. When to contact the supervising nurse.
  • F. Confidentiality issues regarding the administration of medications and student health information.

The supervising RN will evaluate the UAP’s skill, document the completion of the training, and determine the degree of supervision necessary and provide that supervision.

In order for the district to receive the immunity from liability based upon substantial compliance with the statutes, UAP must be delegated to, trained and supervised by a RN, ARNP, or physician (MD).

For additional resources listed below, see Section XVIII References 

• Washington State School Staff Health Training Guide (2015)

***WFIS is aware that one or both of these links may not be working.  OSPI & SBE have been notified and are working to resolve the problem.