Rule 116: Medication Administration in Specific Community Settings

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.
Department of Human Services
Division of Developmental Disabilities
Information Bulletin

Medication Administration in Specific Community Settings (Rule 116)


The purpose of Rule 116 is to ensure the safety of individuals in programs funded by the Department of Human Services (DHS) by regulating the storage, distribution and administration of medications in specific settings and training of non-licensed staff in the administration of medications.

Reference: Title 59: Mental Health, Chapter I: Department of Human Services, Part 116, Administration of Medication in Community Settings

Process and Procedure

Rule 116 applies exclusively to all programs for individuals with a developmental disability in: 

  • Residential settings of 16 persons or fewer that are funded or licensed by the Department of Human Services and that distribute or administer medications.
  • Intermediate Care Facilities for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (ICFs/DD) with 16 beds or fewer that are licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
    1. Requirements for Non-Licensed Staff 

      Any non-licensed staff member who is to be authorized to administer medications under the delegation and supervision of the registered professional nurse trainer (RN Nurse-Trainer) must meet the following criteria:

      • Be age 18 or older.
      • Complete high school or its equivalency (GED).
      • Demonstrate functional literacy (i.e., 8th grade reading level via TABE, ABLE or CASAS).
      • Satisfactorily complete the health and safety component of the Direct Support Persons Training Program or a DHS-approved equivalent.
      • Be initially trained and evaluated by an authorized RN Nurse-Trainer in a competency-based, standardized medication curriculum specified by DHS in the RN Nurse-Trainer Medication Administration Training Program.
      • Pass, at 80% or higher, the written portion of the comprehensive examination furnished by DHS based on the information conveyed to the non-licensed staff as specified in the RN Nurse-Trainer Medication Administration Training Program.
      • Score 100% on a written or oral competency-based evaluation conducted by the RN Nurse-Trainer specifically pertinent to those medications that such staff are responsible to administer; re-authorization by the RN-Nurse Trainer must occur at least annually.
      • Receive specific additional competency-based training and assessment by an authorized RN Nurse-Trainer as deemed necessary by the RN Nurse-Trainer whenever a change of medication or dosage occurs or a new individual who requires medication enters the program.
      • Retain current certification in First Aid and CPR through the American Red Cross or American Heart Association or hold current certification as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) through an examination approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health and/or National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT).
      • No disqualifying conviction (without a waiver) on the Health Care Worker Registry.
      • No administrative finding of abuse, neglect or theft on the Health Care Worker Registry.
    2. Requirements for RN Nurse-Trainer

      All registered professional nurses seeking approval to be RN Nurse-Trainers to provide medication administration training to non-licensed staff shall:

      • Be licensed as a registered professional nurse or advanced practice nurse in Illinois.
      • Possess two years of clinical registered professional nursing experience within the last five years, at least one of which shall preferably have been in developmental disabilities.
      • Have successfully completed the DHS Nurse-Trainer Medication Administration Training Program.
    3. Approval Process for RN Nurse-Trainer 

      Requests for approval as a RN Nurse-Trainer must be submitted in writing to:

      Division of Developmental Disabilities
      Bureau of Clinical Services
      319 E. Madison, Suite 2A
      Springfield, IL  62701
      Attention:  Statewide Nursing Coordinator

      The Statewide Nursing Coordinator will approve all requests that show substantial compliance with the requirements. The decision to approve or deny requests will be on file with the Division of Developmental Disabilities, which will maintain a record of all approved RN Nurse-Trainers.

      The Statewide Nursing Coordinator may, upon request, grant conditional approval to a registered professional nurse who fulfills the requirements but has not completed the required DHS Nurse-Trainer Medication Administration Training Program. Conditional approval will be granted for no more than 90 days following the date of conditional approval. The nurse given conditional approval shall not train or authorize non-licensed staff to administer medications but may direct and monitor, as well as educate and train, previously authorized direct care staff on new medications or dosage changes as required.

    4. Technical Assistance Regarding Verification of Staff Authorized to Administer Medications

      The Division of Developmental Disabilities provides technical assistance regarding training, authorization and appropriate documentation specific to non-licensed personnel administering medications in specific community residential settings. For assistance, please contact:

      Phone: (217) 782-9438 


      A checklist entitled Documentation for Verification of Staff Authorized to Administer Medications (doc) can be used in two ways:

      1. By the provider agency, to document for provider quality assurance and training purposes, that a staff person is authorized to administer medications to specific individuals.
      2. Upon request of the Division of Developmental Disabilities in response to cited deficiencies regarding medication administration.