Nurses: Regulations could allow unlicensed providers to administer medication

Nurses say change could lead to medical errors

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BOSTON (WWLP) – Massachusetts nurses are concerned about a state proposal that could allow unlicensed nurses to administer drugs to patients.

Donna Stern of Greenfield, a nurse at Baystate Franklin Medical Center, told 22News that she had to go through extensive training and education to be able to carry out responsibilities such as administering drugs. She said that the state’s proposed regulations could put patient safety in jeopardy.

Representatives from the Massachusetts Nurses Association told 22News that the Baker Administration’s proposal is not clear, and could open the door to medical errors. Nurses from across the state testified Tuesday before the Board of Registration in Nursing.

The proposal, they say, could allow unlicensed health care providers, such as nurses’ assistants, to administer drugs to patients without direct supervision.

Stern said that patients need years of training before they can safely administer potent drugs.

“We have the ability to assess and understand how complicated these medications are, and the drug interactions. And the people who don’t have the training just can’t provide that,” Stern said.

The Board of Registration in Nursing is accepting public comment until October 11.