CASN closely monitors school nursing-related legislation in the General Assembly of the State of Colorado.
Our Lobbyist – Frontline Public Affairs – Diana Protopapa advises the CASN Legislative Committee with monthly phone conferences during the legislative session. Any CASN member is welcome to listen to these phone conferences. Contact Kelly Grenham for more information:
Kelly Grenham, MPH, BSN, RN, NCSN| School Health Program
Nurse Consultant | Children's Hospital Colorado
Mapleton School District
The Children’s Hospital Colorado
13123 East 16th Avenue, Box 215 Aurora, CO 80045
Phone: (303) 853-1103 | Fax: (303) 853-1426 | Cell: 720-951-0194.
Talking Points regarding HB18-1286 (Marijuana Bill)
- Medical Marijuana would be considered a homeopathic medication not regulated by the FDA; therefore, the pediatric doses are not exact. Medical Marijuana dose is often adjusted for the child symptoms and the nurse can only delegate exact doses.
- Marijuana is currently categorized as a Schedule I drug and illegal at the federal level. Registered Nurses are required to follow all federal laws with respect to the medications we administer. Violating these requirements would put Registered Nurses at risk of losing their licenses. This could leave the school nurse and district open to federal investigation, potentially impacting federal funding.
- Physicians cannot prescribe, administer and/or dispense marijuana. Per the Colorado Nurse Practice Act physicians write the doctor’s orders that permit nurses to administer and dispense medications in schools.
- Registered nurses are only authorized to administer medication as part of a directive (order), from a provider with prescriptive authority, (M.D., D.O., N.P., P.A), and currently marijuana cannot be prescribed, only recommended. A nurse does not have prescriptive authority per the Colorado Nurse Practice Act; therefore, the nurse cannot administer or delegate the administration of a medication without a doctor’s prescriptive order.
- Proponents have stated that a school nurse could train school personnel to administer and dispense the medication. Personnel work under delegation of a nurse license; the nurse is legally liable and it still could put the school nurse in danger of losing her license.
- Storing Medical Marijuana at school would increase the risk of theft.
- School nurses have an average of 1,900 students per nurse in Colorado. In some school district one nurse could have 5,000 students. This means the nurse trains, verifies competency and then delegates the administration of medications at school. The nurse may only directly supervise medication administration once a month or less. Nurses rely on the Colorado Medication Administration Manual, which provides processes that are clear and defined to ensure students at school receive their correct medication safely.
- CASN believes that school nurses, should protect and promote student health, facilitate optimal development, and advance academic success. (NASN Role of the School Nurse). We follow evidence based practice and are also guided by our national professional organization, the National Association of School Nurses, position statement on this topic.