Background Pharmacist participation in school medication management (MM) is minimal. School nurses are responsible for increasingly complex medication administration and management in schools. Objectives The purpose of this study was to 1) assess the MM needs of school nurses in Minnesota, and 2) determine if and how interprofessional partnerships between nurses and pharmacists might optimize MM for students. Methods Researchers from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, School Nurse Organization of Minnesota, and Minnesota Department of Health conducted a 32-item online survey of school nurses. Results Nurses administered the majority of medications at their school (69.9%) compared with unlicensed assistive personnel (29%). Stimulants (37.7%), asthma medications (25.7%), over-the-counter analgesics (17.8%), and insulin (6.6%) were the most commonly administered drug therapies. A clear majority of school nurses were interested in partnering with pharmacists: 90.3% thought that a pharmacist could assist with MM, 80% would consult with a pharmacist, and 12.3% reported that they already have informal access to a pharmacist. Topics that nurses would discuss with a pharmacist included new medications (71.6%), drug–drug interactions (67.1%), proper administration (52%), and storage (39.4%). The top MM concerns included 1) availability of students’ medications and required documentation, 2) health literacy, 3) pharmacist consultations, 4) lack of time available for nurses to follow up with and evaluate students, 5) family-centered care, 6) delegation, 7) communication, and 8) professional development. Conclusion Although the majority of school nurses surveyed indicated that partnerships with pharmacists would improve school MM, few had a formal relationship. Interprofessional partnerships focused on MM and education are high on the list of services that school nurses would request of a consultant pharmacist. Study results suggest that there are opportunities for pharmacists to collaborate with school nurses; further study is necessary to advance high-quality MM for students in Minnesota schools.
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