Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master Of Science In Nursing

Colleges & School

Ruth S. Coleman College Of Nursing And Health Sciences

First Advisor

Ruth M. Waite, PhD, RN

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Nurses--Attitudes; Nurses--Wisconsin; Nursing homes--Pharmaceutical services; Nursing homes--Employees


In response to the critical nursing shortage, nursing homes have been forced to find creative ways to fill vacancies, maintain quality care given to residents, and contain the cost of nursing personnel. One answer to the nursing shortage has been the addition of unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP). The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of registered nurses (RN) regarding the use of Medication Assistants in Wisconsin nursing homes. A quantitative descriptive research design was used to describe the perceptions of RNs. The convenience sample consisted of 71 RNs from eight nursing homes located in Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties. The results of this study indicate the majority of RNs perceived the Medication Assistants to be highly prepared (73 .2%, n=52) to administer non-sterile treatments. Almost half were very comfortable (49.3%, n=35) with having a Medication Assistant work under their RN license. The RNs reported that they had an increase in job satisfaction (54.9%, n=39) and had more time to perform professional nursing activities such as assessments, teaching and evaluation (83.1 %, n=59). Forty-three percent (n=31) of RNs did not receive any training regarding delegating or supervising Medication Assistants. RNs that did receive training reported that the training was adequate to effectively delegate and supervise Medication Assistants. Eighty-four percent (n=60) of RNs who responded to the questionnaire, supervised only one Medication Assistant at a time. Forty-nine percent (n=35) of RN participants perceived that excellent quality of care is delivered by a Medication Assistant. Finally, the majority of nurses (74.6%, n=53) responded they would highly recommend using Medication Assistants in the nursing home setting. Findings suggest that nurses' perceive Medication Assistants to be a viable solution to the nursing shortage experienced by Wisconsin nursing homes.


Open Access

OCLC Number


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Included in

Nursing Commons