Medication Self-Assessment Guidelines

Medication Self-Assessment Guidelines

The purpose of the Medication Self Assessment Guidelines is to provide you with an overview of medication administration information to assist you to perform a self-assessment of your own medication administration competence (knowledge, skill and judgment). It is a support document and does not replace a formal pharmacology/medication administration course.

 Medication Administration is a basic entry level competency for all Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in Nova Scotia. Safe medication administration requires knowledge of pharmacology, client assessment, standards of practice and institution policies, skills in various forms of administration and judgment around safe medication practices. The practice of medication administration requires the LPN to assess the appropriateness of the medication for the client, prepare and administer the medication correctly, assess the effectiveness of the medication, anticipate, identify and manage adverse reactions in partnership with the Registered Nurse and/or physician, document the process according to institution policy and teach the client about the medication as it relates to overall health. (CRNNS, 2011) It also requires ongoing self-assessment of competency and participation in continuing education activities.

Other Medication Related Information

The Professional Practice Series: Medication Administration Guidelines for LPNs in Nova Scotia.
Medication Administration Guidelines were developed to assist licensed practical nurses understand their role in the medication administration process. This, as with all College documents, can be used with CLPNNS Standards of Practice, Code of Ethics and all applicable practice guidelines found on the College website at

Institute of Safe Medication Practices
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada is an independent national not-for-profit organization committed to the advancement of medication safety in all healthcare settings. ISMP Canada works collaboratively with the healthcare community, regulatory agencies and policy makers, provincial, national and international client safety organizations, the pharmaceutical industry and the public to promote safe medication practices. ISMP Canada’s mandate includes analyzing medication incidents, making recommendations for the prevention of harmful medication incidents, and facilitating quality improvement initiatives.

High-alert medications are drugs that bear a heightened risk of causing significant client harm when they are used in error. Although mistakes may or may not be more common with these drugs, the consequences of an error are clearly more devastating to client.

LPN Professional Development Note

The high list changes from time to time, so access it often. LPNs and employers should be aware, that LPNs are not authorized to administer any medications listed on ISMP High Alert Medications in Intravenous form. LPNs may administer medications on the list in other routes (oral, intramuscular, subcutaneous) if consistent with their employer policies and scope of practice.

Posted in Practice Support