The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing issues this Advisory Ruling on Nursing practice pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, chapter 30A, section 8 and chapter 112, section 80B.

Date Issued: June 3, 1992
Date Revised: July 10, 2002

Scope of Practice: Registered Nurse

To guide the practice of the Registered Nurse who, within their practice as School Nurses administer Over-The-Counter Medications (OTC).

Registered nurses may administer OTC's to students in Massachusetts schools based on protocols which have been developed in collaboration with the school department's duly authorized prescriber, provided that the appropriate school administrative authority allows the use of such protocols.

Protocols must include the following information:

  • Drug Name
  • Dose to be administered
  • Dosage frequency
  • Indications for use
  • Contraindications
  • Potential side-effects
  • Assessment criteria to be gathered prior to administering a particular medication

Registered nurses who within their practice as School Nurses administer OTC's must have an assessment of the following information:

  • The student's current medication profile
  • The student's history of allergies
  • Parental consent
  • Documentation of OTC medication administered according to such protocols must conform to the school department's regulations for documentation of medication administered to the students. .

This information is provided by the Division of Health Professions Licensure within the Department of Public Health.