LPNs NOT Medicating??

  1. I have been reading some posts where people are stating that as LPNs they are not allowed to medicate. This baffles me, because I am trying to imagine what the focus was in their nursing programs. Can anyone enlighten me?
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  2. 45 Comments

  3. by   augigi
    Not sure on that, although I thought that LPNs could give most things apart from IV push medications (but this depends on state practice acts).

    However, I am an RN, but my nursing program certainly didn't focus on medication administration, so your question is a little confusing to me!! My program focused on nursing process, assessment, anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology and critical thinking. Pharmacology was just one part of the program, and certainly not the major one. Neither do I consider it the main part of my day as a nurse.
  4. by   nursesaideBen
    Hmm... maybe they mean PRN medications? I know here in VA at some psych facilities LPN's can't give PRN meds which is kinda strange I think.
  5. by   augigi
    That would make sense to me - LPNs generally cannot do "assessments" of patients, and PRN meds are given after you've assessed that they are required.
  6. by   Avelinne
    Not in AZ. There is a pilot program here in AZ that is training CNA's to pass meds under the supervision of a nurse. The CNA must pass the medication administration course for CNA's and then TA-DA, they can pass meds. So if the CNA's are being allowed to pass meds here in AZ, I can't see why other states would forbid LPN's from passing meds.
  7. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from augigi
    Not sure on that, although I thought that LPNs could give most things apart from IV push medications (but this depends on state practice acts).

    However, I am an RN, but my nursing program certainly didn't focus on medication administration, so your question is a little confusing to me!! My program focused on nursing process, assessment, anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology and critical thinking. Pharmacology was just one part of the program, and certainly not the major one. Neither do I consider it the main part of my day as a nurse.

    The issue is confusing to me as well, this is why I am asking LPNs here if any of them have faced this. I read in a few past posts (unfortunately, I don't remember where) that some LPNs are not allowed to medicate, and today, I felt the need to ask. I am an LPN that can medicate, but don't do IV push, or hang blood. I can't imagine what they are doing or what the focus in school was if they didn't do this. My program did not focus too much on meds either, although we had a six week course in pharmacology (it was a joke) and it still was not a major focus for us, either.
    Last edit by pagandeva2000 on Dec 8, '06
  8. by   pagandeva2000
    Quote from Avelinne
    Not in AZ. There is a pilot program here in AZ that is training CNA's to pass meds under the supervision of a nurse. The CNA must pass the medication administration course for CNA's and then TA-DA, they can pass meds. So if the CNA's are being allowed to pass meds here in AZ, I can't see why other states would forbid LPN's from passing meds.
    I was certified to give meds 20 years ago in a psych hospital. It is hazy now, but I think that it was for about a week or so, and then at the facility, we had to pour three times before an RN and as you say...TA DA...I was giving them. We didn't do PRNs but we gave the psych drugs. Whole thing was a mess...
  9. by   kranken_schwester
    All nurses need to be able to assess their patients so they can provide the proper care--that's the bulk of what nursing is. LPNs absolutely assess their patients and give PRN medications.

    Quote from augigi
    That would make sense to me - LPNs generally cannot do "assessments" of patients, and PRN meds are given after you've assessed that they are required.
  10. by   allantiques4me
    Quote from augigi
    That would make sense to me - LPNs generally cannot do "assessments" of patients, and PRN meds are given after you've assessed that they are required.
    Im an LPN and I take pride in my strong assessment skills!I dont know why youd think LPNs do not assess.Its part of the nursing process.As for LPNs not passing medications,we needed to pass the NAPNES/OOPNES to be allowed to pass medications.And a separate IV course to work with the IVs.
  11. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from Avelinne
    Not in AZ. There is a pilot program here in AZ that is training CNA's to pass meds under the supervision of a nurse. The CNA must pass the medication administration course for CNA's and then TA-DA, they can pass meds. So if the CNA's are being allowed to pass meds here in AZ, I can't see why other states would forbid LPN's from passing meds.
    In the hospital setting? Because that would be the day I stopped working as an RN. CNA passing meds to my ED and surgical pts? Not on my license, no sir.
  12. by   RN34TX
    Quote from allantiques4me
    Im an LPN and I take pride in my strong assessment skills!I dont know why youd think LPNs do not assess.Its part of the nursing process.As for LPNs not passing medications,we needed to pass the NAPNES/OOPNES to be allowed to pass medications.And a separate IV course to work with the IVs.
    Learning about medications and their administration is fundamental in LPN programs.
    I spent much of my LPN program taking pharmacology, lab check-offs for IM/SC meds, and countless clinical hours administering meds under the watchful eye of my instructors.

    So I don't get all of the fuss here over LPN's giving meds. They are trained to do so in their programs.

    I can understand the additional IV training as this may vary and/or be lacking in some LPN programs, but anyone with an LPN license should already be competent in administering all other meds by all other routes without any additional standardized exam.

    When I was an LPN, I once worked in a hospital on the east coast where only the RN's passed the meds.

    I thought this must be customary to the area and/or facility until one day the charge nurse said "I didn't know that you could pass meds, so go ahead and give your own meds now."

    Huh??

    What LPN doesn't pass meds??

    Apparantly many at this hospital, but I thought it was the strangest thing ever.
    If LPN's in some states aren't taught about meds in school, what exactly are they being trained to do during their programs?

    Insert foleys, change dressings, and give enemas?
  13. by   allantiques4me
    I hear ya.I also had extensive pharmacology in nursing school and then we needed to pass the NAPNES certification also.
  14. by   hikernurse
    We do all meds, including PRN, except for IV push and hanging blood.

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