med passer a good job for student nurse?


I work in an assisted living facility with Alzheimers patients right now in a job similar to a nursing assistant. I've been thinking about moving on after a year to become a med passer at the same facility. Technically it's a promotion, but is this better experience for a nursing student or are med passers looked down upon.

Ideally I'd like to be a CNA at a hospital but market is a bit tight right now and my schedule is not the most flexible.

tntrn, ASN, RN

1,340 Posts

Specializes in L & D; Postpartum. Has 34 years experience.

I am not sure this would be legal.


166 Posts

For whatever reason it's legal in the Assisted Living Facility and in the state I live in. RN is technically in charge, but the med passers pass the meds.

Specializes in Psychiatry, corrections, long-term care.. Has 3 years experience.

In my state, NACs take a nursing delegation class and can be what are commonly known as "med techs". It varies state to state. If you would feel comfortable passing meds and have an interest in LTC or hospital nursing, I don't see why it wouldn't be a good job. Good luck. :)

Flo., BSN, RN

571 Posts

Specializes in Developmental Disabilites,. Has 7 years experience.

I think it would be a great job to prepare you for nursing. Most days I feel like a walking pill dispenser!


251 Posts

I was a CMT ( Certified Medication Technician) that's a big word for a med passer. In my state you have to be a CNA for a yr before you can be a CMT. I was a CMT before i became a LPN.

You will find as a CMT you basically do the same thing as an LPN with out the pay. LPN Scope of practice is a bit different and you will want to get in to nursing as fast as you can.

Well that's how it was for me. I would say Yes do it. It teaches you Pharmacology and you will need that for any future career as a nurse.

Also in my state CMT's ( Certified Medication Technician) and MA1's ( Level One Med Aid) are only in LTC's Home Health, and RCF's. Never in a hospital. Either way you can't go wrong doing it and getting yourself ready for your nursing program. Good Luck let me know what you plan to do... Anthony

PS... They are never looked down upon but you have to remember your just a glorified CNA. And you just might find just how big of roll you do play with the other nursing staff members... Once again Good Luck to you let me know..


366 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg/Tele; Psych, DD/MR.

Yes, definitely can be legal... in MA the Red Cross oversees, does training and keeps a registry of all MAP (Medication Administration Program) certified staff. I'm MAP trained, and the RN I work with is also Red Cross instructor who does the trainings/recerts within our agency. Then you can work in certain residential programs/day programs and administer medications as part of your shift duties, saving human services agencies money (not having to have a nurse on-site at every residential program, etc). There ARE exceptions, of course... it depends on the regulating body/funder/State.

OP, both jobs sound like awesome experience, good for you! :)

tiroka03, LPN

393 Posts

Specializes in LPN. Has 18 years experience.

Do you get training in pharmacology? I don't know that I would want to take on that responsibility with out that. There seems to be a built in gray area, where mistakes could happen, and you might not even understand. Passing medicine without knowing the person's history, or understand the day to day changes in a patient could result in med pass error. If you are already studying for your LPN, and in the program, doing clinical - maybe you would be safer. I wouldn't want any of my CNA's doing a med pass for me. Even the ones I trust the most. There are too many things that can go wrong. There are times I have to give it a second think before passing certian meds to certian people, depending upon the situation they are experiencing that particular day. Do you feel that you would be able to assess and pass correctly? I am not saying you couldn't, and I know it's a learning experience. I would read the posts on the site, and also ask your LPN teachers this question. You need to then intreprete it all an make your own decision.


38 Posts

Specializes in ICU, forensics,.

Tiroka03 - This is a common practice. They have different training than a CNA :) I do understand you concerns


116 Posts

Yes, I think that you would benefit greatly from it. I am currently a nurse at an assisted living facility and we are so greatful for med passers. You will definately pick up some skills for when you become a nurse. GO FOR IT! =)


86 Posts

In my state (Ohio) a CNA can work as a Certified Medication Aide. It requires 120 hours and is a 6 week, Monday-Friday, 8AM-12:30PM, last week is clinicals. Good luck!

NaKcl, BSN, RN

236 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg.

you will get more familiarized with different medications. That will be a good experience when you become a RN. :nurse: