Medication Administration F.A.Q.

  • Q. Who is permitted to administer medications to students?

    A. The following individuals are authorized to administer medication to pupils in schools: 

    •  School staff holding a current medical or nursing license (e.g., the school physician or school nurse)
    •  A substitute school nurse employed by the district The pupil's parent or guardian A pupil approved to self-administer per N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.3
    •  A school staff designated and trained to administer epinephrine using an auto-injector per N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.5 and 12.6

     Q. Do I need an order for the nurse to administer my child's medication?

    A. Yes all medications require a physician order, parental consent and the medication provided in its original container.

    Q. My child already has an order for medication administration during school hours. Do I need to get another order for the class trip?

    A. Medication that has been previously prescribed for school time administration during this school year will be taken on the class trip. You will only need additional orders and consents if there are additional medications.

    Q. I had an order for my child last year, is that order still valid?

    A. No orders are only valid for one school year.

    Q. Where can I pick up a blank order?

    A. Blank orders are located in the nurse's office and on the school website under Medical Forms & Documents.

    Q. Do I need a different parental consent form?

    A. No, the medication order has a parental consent section. Parents can sign the order to provide parental consent.

    Q. Do I need a prescription for over the counter medication?

    A. Yes, all over the counter medications require physician orders. This includes Tylenol, Advil, Midol, Aleve, Imodium, cough medicine, Lactaid… etc to name a few.

    Q. My child takes homeopathic remedies. Do I need a nurse to administer this and do I need an order for this over the counter remedy?

    A. Yes, herbal remedies are considered over the counter medications. A prescription or order is required. Parental consent and the remedy in its original container are also required. The nurse must administer any and all remedies.

    Q. My child suffers from motion sickness on extended trips. What do I need for their medication?

    A. Medication to treat motion sickness also requires a written order from your physician, parental consent and the medication in its original container.

    Q. Does the Label on the prescription bottle serve as an order.

    A. No, the bottle instruction does not serve as a prescription or order. The order needs to be written on a school medication form.

    Q. Do I need an order for the inhaler?

    A. Yes all inhalers require an order. There is a special form that needs to be used for inhalers. It is called an Asthma Action Plan and provides instruction for administration of the rescue medication as well as the maintenance medication. The Asthma Action Plan was developed by the Pediatric Asthma Coalition of NJ and is the only way asthma or inhaler medication can be prescribed.

    Q. Where do I get the Asthma Action Plan?

    A. The asthma packet can be obtained from the nurse, or can be downloaded here.

    Q. Can my child self-administer the inhaler?

    A. The Physician or health care provider need to state on the order that the student has been trained in the use of the inhaler and is able to self-administer. The only students that can carry their inhaler are the one's that have been cleared by the physician or health care provider for self-administration. The Asthma Action Plan has a check off for the physician or health care provider that allows the student to carry their inhaler and self-administer.

    Q. Can my son or daughter self-administer his or her medication if my doctor writes it on the order?

    A. The only medications that can be self-administered are inhaler medications and epinephrine or epi-pens. The Doctor or health care provider must identify on the order that they can self-administer. For the Asthma Action Plan this can be checked off on the bottom of the form.

    Q. Do I have to provide the medication?

    A. The medication needs to be provided in its original container. They cannot be poured into a ziplock bag and sent in to the nurse. Pills poured into a ziplock back will be returned and only medications in their original container will be accepted.

    Q. My son/daughter has lost the box for their inhaler. Can I just send in the inhaler?

    A. The inhaler needs to have an official label. If your son/daughter has lost the label please contact your pharmacy and request a new label.

    Q. What about eye drops or eardrops? Do I need an order for this medication?

    A. Yes, whether the medication is prescribed or bought over the counter all order needs to be written by your health care provider.

    Q. When do I bring in the medication, order and consent?

    A. The medication needs to be dropped off by the parent at the beginning of the school year.  If it is especially for a field trip, it needs to be dropped off by the parent 1 week prior to the class trip. This will allow the nurse time to organize the student's medication file.

    Q. Can I just hold off on giving my child medication during the trip days?

    A. You need to discuss medication holds or medication holidays with your child's pediatrician. Certainly in the case of vitamins a pediatrician may be in agreement with holding administration. For other medications this may not be advisable. In any case this is a discussion the parent needs to have with the pediatrician prior to class trip.

    Q. How do I pick up my child's medication after the trip?

    A. The nurse will set up the medication in the office upon return. Please see the nurse in the office if you want to pick up your child's medication.

    Q. Can you keep the medication until the end of the school year and administer medication during the school day until the end of the school year?

    A. It depends if your health care provider writes the order to only cover the class trip days the medication can only be as specified on the order. If the order is written for the rest of the school year then medications can be administered until the last day of the school year.

    Q. What happens if I forget to pick up the medications?

    A. The medication will be locked in the nurse's office. A notice will be sent home to remind you to pick-up the medication. Medication not picked up by 10 a.m. on the last school day will be discarded.

    Q. What about special treatments or procedures, do I need an order?

    A. Any procedure also needs to be ordered by a health care provider/physician and supplies will need to be provided.


    The health and safety of all the children is our primary goal. Please feel free to contact the school nurse with any questions or concerns. The nurse can be reached at (973) 300-3800 x 215 or via e-mail at