Field Trips: Guidance for School Nurses

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a parent sign a relinquishment waiver to bring Glucagon for day trips only? Or can they sign a waiver for overnight trips as well?

No. An order from the provider and parent approval for all medication actions (such as withhold, substitute, discontinue, etc.) for any school-sponsored trip is necessary.

Can a parent assign a friend or relative to go on a field trip with their child in order to administer an emergency medication?

No. According to the C.G.S. and regulations regarding medication administration in schools, only school nurses, qualified personnel or parents may administer medication to students.

If the school district has current standing orders from our school physician (medical advisor) and signed parental permission on our Emergency Consent Forms, do we need a new authorization form for administration of medication for the trip signed by the child’s medical provider?

Yes, unless the school nurse is accompanying the trip. Standing orders may be administered only by a nurse after an assessment of the student’s complaint and symptoms. Any medications delegated to qualified personnel in schools must have an individual student Medication Authorization Form.

Can school nurses package multiple doses of meds for an extended day field trip?

No. School nurses may not provide the staff with more than one dose of medication from their school supply as this is considered dispensing and is not in the scope of practice for any nurse.

Can volunteers (such as parents) administer medications to students, other than their own children, on a field trip?

No. According to the medication regulations, other than the school nurse, only “qualified personnel for schools” may administer medication in schools. Qualified personnel for schools means (a) a full-time employee who meets the local or regional board of education requirements as a principal, teacher, occupational therapist or physical therapist and has been trained in the administration of medication in accordance with Section 10-212a-3 of these regulations; (b) a coach and licensed athletic trainer who has been trained in the administration of medication pursuant to Section 10-212a-8 of these regulations; or (c) a paraprofessional who has been trained in the administration of medication pursuant to Section 10-212a- 9 of these regulations. For school readiness programs and before- and after-school programs, directors or director’s designee, lead teachers and school administrators who have been trained in the administration of medication may administer medications pursuant to Section 10-212a-10 of these regulations.”

Is the school nurse responsible for nonschool sponsored field trips?

No. Although school personnel (including school nurses) are often aware of nonschool sponsored field trips or planned privately sponsored trips, they are not required to plan, coordinate or supervise these activities. 

Do nurses require permission from other states when administering nursing services on field trips?

Yes. For field trips outside Connecticut, it is necessary that the school nurses determine the licensure and practice acts in the visiting state or country. The regulations for practice can vary from state to state and because Connecticut is not part of the Nurse Licensure Compact, the nurse is only licensed to practice in Connecticut and, if he or she is accompanying the trip, the nurse should know if the state offers a “visiting status” and request permission to practice in another state if there is no provision for visiting status.

In what capacity are school nurses required to participate in the planning of extracurricular school-sponsored trips?

School nurses may provide information to the facilitators of extracurricular school-sponsored trips regarding the legal requirements for medication administration and nursing care to students during extracurricular activities and help the facilitators determine best practices for the health and safety of students during these activities; however, school nurses cannot legally delegate nursing care or medication administration for extracurricular activities.

Are school nurses required to participate in privately sponsored trips?

School nurses are not required to plan, coordinate or supervise privately sponsored trips.

Can an LPN attend the field trip as a nurse?

The use of LPNs on field trips may be a safe and viable option to meet the health needs of students. Within the State of Connecticut, the LPN may participate in the field trip under the direction of the school nurse or RN and provide only routine/planned care, such as medication administration, G-tube feedings, or assist a student with intermittent catheterizations. For trips out of the state or country, the school nurse and LPN must determine the scope and practice act for LPNs in the state or country the students are visiting and request permission to practice if appropriate.

What is the school nurse’s role for interscholastic and intramural athletic events that occur off school grounds?

School nurses should be part of the planning to ensure the safety of students with health care needs; however, only emergency medications may be delegated to coaches during these events. If age-appropriate, promoting self-administration and self-care by students are helpful strategies for school nurses.