Monday, the California Supreme Court ruled that school employees other than nurses can administer insulin to diabetic children. The decision overturns a lower court ruling that said only licensed nurses could provide insulin on school campuses.
The American Nurses Association criticized the decision, saying that allowing unlicensed school employees to deliver prescription medication could be unsafe for children and undermine the role nurses serve in public schools. But the court found that there’s no reason to believe that only nurses can provide insulin shots, especially when other unlicensed people – including parents and children as young as 8 who are able to self-medicate – can give them safely.
What do you think about the court’s ruling?
Insulin is considered one of our high-alert medications; as nurses we are taught to have another nurse check our dose. The problem in California is that only 5 percent of schools have a full-time nurse, and 26 percent of schools have no on-campus nurse. Statewide, there is only one school nurse for every 2,200 students. Do you think the solution is to allow unlicensed school personnel to give the medication or is it to hire more school nurses?
Yesterday, ENA released a press statement joining ANA in expressing our disappointment with the California Supreme Court ruling. Click here to read our statement.