Licensed Vocational Nurses Will Administer Naloxone With Greater Ease

Licensed vocational nurses

A controversial law involving Naloxone has been lifted, giving licensed vocational nurses (LVN) the chance to more easily administer supportive care in the form of naloxone and potentially save lives.

A federal judge waived the law last week that required LVN’s to receive permission from a doctor before administering naloxone. California Correctional Health Care Services federal receiver J. Clark Kelso requested the waiver, noting that drug overdoses are the leading cause of death in the state’s prison system and have continued to rise each year.

“Precious time can be lost and unnecessary injury, and even death, may result,” wrote Kelso in his request. The request was ultimately approved by Judge Henderson, who took control of the California prison healthcare system in 2005 and has made drastic improvements to it since then.

California’s prison system employs approximately 1,800 LVN’s and 2,000 registered nurses, whom Kelso spokesperson Joyce Hayhoe described as “predominantly our first responders for health care services in the prison system. The LVNs really function as our EMTs and paramedics in the prison system, so that’s why we needed them to be able to administer these lifesaving drugs.”