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Schools don't need licensed nurses to give medications, court rules

August 12, 2013|By Maura Dolan
  • The California Supreme Court rejected the contention by a nurses' group that only licensed nurses could administer insulin injections and other medications to students.
The California Supreme Court rejected the contention by a nurses'… (Arkasha Stevenson / Los…)

SAN FRANCISCO -- Schools may provide trained employees instead of licensed nurses to administer insulin injections and other medications to students, the California Supreme Court decided unanimously Monday.

In a defeat for the California Nurses Assn., the state high court overturned a  ruling in favor of the nurses by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye when she was on an appeals court. The chief justice did not participate in the case once it reached the high court.

"California law expressly permits trained, unlicensed school personnel to administer prescription medications such as insulin in accordance with the written statements of a student's treating physician and parents," Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar wrote for the court.

The  nurses' association had argued that only licensed nurses could legally provide insulin and prescription medications to students, a view adopted by both the Sacramento-based appeals court and a trial court judge.

The American Diabetes Assn. appealed. It argued that 95% of California's public schools do not have a full-time nurse and complained that schools were forcing parents to leave their jobs to administer injections to their children.

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Twitter:@mauradolan

maura.dolan@latimes.com

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