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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ - Medication Administration

What is the Alabama Board of Nursing’s position on nurses administering various medications?

The Alabama Board of Nursing does not issue rulings on specific medications but instead maintains rules in the ABN’s Administrative Code generic to medication administration found in the ABN’s Administrative Code Rules 610-X-6-.07 (Medication Administration and Safety) and 610-X-6-.08 (Standards for Moderate Sedation).

For administration of any medication, the nurse is expected to utilize a complex set of knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to assure the safety of the individual receiving the medication.  The components of medication administration are listed below.

  • Knowledge
    • Drug action, classifications
    • Expected therapeutic benefit of medication
    • Expected monitoring
    • Illness or injury processes
    • Developmental stages
    • Possible side effects/adverse reactions & interventions for same
    • Emergency interventions for anaphylactic reactions
    • Seven rights of administration
    • Drug/Drug and Food/Drug Interactions
    • Calculation of drug dosages
    • Federal and state legal requirements related to storage, controlled substances, etc.
  • Decision-Making
    • When, how and if medications should be administered
    • Assessment of individual’s complaint prior to administering PRN medications
    • When to contact the prescriber
  • Skills
    • Dexterity to open medication packaging
    • Read, write English
    • Read, write, and comprehend scientific phrases relevant to administration of medication
    • Measuring medication dosages
    • Math calculations
    • Routes of administration
    • Proper usage of technical equipment for medication administration
  • Documentation
    • Administration
    • Therapeutic effect
    • Principles of documentation
    • Seven rights of administration
    • Controlled drug records per federal and state law.

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