Medication Exam Process for Clinical Courses

Purpose: To develop consistent approach to medication exams across sites and within courses to support safe medication administration by students.

Passing the medication exam is not a replacement for thorough assessment by the clinical instructor or preceptor of the student’s ability to provide medications safely in the clinical setting. Once a student has passed the medication exam the clinical instructor or preceptor must evaluate each student clinically to determine when they can provide medications independently.


Class Requirement: Each course where students are expected to administer medications will have a medication exam:

  •  NURS 221.3
  •  NURS 331.3
  •  NURS 333.3
  •  NURS 308.3
  •  NURS 450.9



  • The exam is Pass/Fail. Passing grade is 80% in instructor - led clinical, 90% in preceptor - led clinical. The exam will examine both medication calculations and medication knowledge.
  • Each clinical course will have a bank of standardized exams with consistent content related to the course.
  • Students will not be eligible to give medications independently until they achieve a passing grade.
  • Students will be permitted to use Nursing Central and a calculator in instructor-led clinical.
  • In preceptor - led clinical, Nursing Central and calculator will be permitted during the calculation portion of the exam, but not during the medication theory (knowledge and application) portion.
  • Students will receive a list of common medications to review in advance of the exam.
  • A student who is not successful after a 2nd writing attempt will go onto a student performance contract for medication safety prior to the 3rd attempt.
  • A student who is not successful after a 3rd writing attempt will be unsuccessful in the course and will not receive credit for the clinical course. The student will be required to do individualized remediation as outlined in the contract before being permitted to take any further clinical courses.
1 Students are not permitted to give medications independently until a passing grade has been achieved. Decisions re: supervised medication administration will be made at the course level.