Registered Psychiatric Nurses, Partnering with People

Management and Administration of Medication by RPNs

The Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Saskatchewan believes that medications are integral to the plan of care for clients requiring health care services. In all instances, medications must be administered under safe and ethical policies and procedures.

The Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Saskatchewan supports the following definition of medication administration.

Safe medication administration includes the role of the physician prescribing medications based on medical and psychiatric assessment of the client; the role of the pharmacist in dispensing medication based on knowledge of pharmacology and therapeutics; the role of the RPN or RN administering medications based on knowledge and skills in client assessment and pharmacology; the role of the client to report any adverse affects from the medications.

RPNs should ensure they are involved in safe and ethical medication administration practices.

The Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Saskatchewan believes that the responsibility for establishing and implementing policies and procedures governing the administration of medications rests with an agency’s board of governors and senior administrative staff. To that end the Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Saskatchewan will provide consultation and guidance to agencies requiring more information on the role and function of registered psychiatric nurses in the administration of medications.

Approved by Council
November 1991


The RPN ensures safe and ethical medication administration.

Safe medication administration is an integral component in the provision of health care.
Audit Factors


      1. Management of medications shall be consistent with legal statutes, professional standards and the documented policies and procedures of the employing agency.
      2. Administering medication only with verification of a current physician’s order;
      3. Documentation and record keeping should be completed as soon as possible following the medication administration;
      4. A minimum monthly review of medication prescribed to clients;
      5. Medication administration only by RPNs or RNs within an inpatient facility;
      6. Medication administration carried out by the RPN or RN who prepares the medications ensuring the five rights of administration: right drug, right dose, right client, right time and right route.
      7. Client education completed regarding effects and contraindications of medication;
      8. Education re. medication for any person responsible for clients in community-based settings;
      9. The use of the unit-dose system to promote client safety and elimination of medication errors;
      10. Leave/pass medications for inpatient facilities must be dispensed directly by a pharmacist;
      11. Medications are to be secured in both inpatient and community-based settings.