Nursing Board proposal could impact APS field trips

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Students in Albuquerque schools won’t be taking any field trips, at least for the rest of this month. It’s all because of a new rule that may soon take effect.

The Board of Nursing is expected to decide Tuesday whether they’ll only allow nurses and health assistants to hand out over-the-counter and prescription medication to students. If they stand firm, it may put school field trips in jeopardy.

“They need these trips,” insists Penny Madeson.

Madeson’s daughter, Jackie, is a freshman at El Dorado. The two found out Thursday morning that all of Jackie’s field trips for the month of August are cancelled.

“I was pretty upset,” Madeson said.

So was Jackie. She’s in the marching band, a group that won’t be able to go on field trips, even to football games, because there aren’t any nurses or health assistants to travel with them.

“She works hard with her studying, she works hard with her flute, she works hard with her drill on marching. Are we really going to take that away from her?” questions Madeson.

The answer may be “yes”.

A new directive from the board of nursing would only allow nurses, athletic trainers and health assistants to dispense over the counter and prescription medications.

APS says they just don’t have enough to travel with groups like the marching band, the debate team or even an elementary school class going to the pumpkin patch or the zoo.

“They are going to be denied a whole realm of educational experiences. These field trips are not just all fun and games, they are educational,” explains Madeson.

The Nursing Board is expected to decide if it wants to adopt the rule, Tuesday.

Right now, the APS moratorium on field trips only lasts until the end of the month.

News 13 asked the district what happens if the nursing proposal passes. APS says leadership would meet to figure out what to do.

“I want to believe that APS has the best concerns at heart for our children,” Madeson says.

Before the proposal, administrators, teachers, education assistants and others were allowed to give routine medications to students. The directive does not include emergency medications or sports teams. Sports teams typically have athletic trainers travel with them.

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