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Medication Aides, Assistants, Technicians

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.

Learn More

  • Talking Points: Use of Medication Assistants/Technicians (2011)

  • Medication Aide/Technician Categories by State

  • ANA's Essential Principles for Utilization of Community Paramedics 

    Over the past decade, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has piloted a new role, most often referred to as the Community Paramedic (CP). This expanded role builds on the skills and preparation of the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Paramedic, with the intention of fulfilling the health care needs of those populations with limited access to primary care services. Cuts in public health and community services funding have decimated programs, leaving unmet health needs. In many cases, CPs are filling a gap in services that had been performed by public health and visiting nurses.

    ANA's Essential Principles for Utilization of Community Paramedics provides overarching standards and strategies for the Registered Nurse and the Community Paramedic to apply when cooperating in various settings and across the continuum of care. This document seeks to promote a common understanding of the Community Paramedic role and clarification of Registered Nurses' expectations of cooperation with this new role.

  • Registered Nurses Utilization of Nursing Assistive Personnel in All Settings

    ANA Position Statement - Approved 7/13/07
    The American Nurses Association (ANA) reaffirms its belief that the utilization of nursing assistive personnel (NAP) in the provision of specific aspects of direct and indirect patient care, as the result of delegation and direction by a registered nurse (RN) in accordance with state nurse practice acts, is an appropriate, safe, and resource-efficient method of providing nursing care.
  • In Brief: Use of Medication Assistants [pdf] 

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