Are CNA's considered "Nurses"? - page 6

I am a new nurse but was a CNA for 15 years before going to school. I was never referred to as a nurse when I was a CNA. I recently went to work in a Doc office where the CNA refers to herself as a... Read More

  1. by   nursbee04
    Quote from Dixiedi
    RNs, in general are taught in school that LPNs and CNAs are not good enough. Just becasue the LPN and CNA do not have degrees does not mean they are not quite capable of doiong the job they do.
    Dixiedi, where are you getting this perception that ALL RN's have such a low opinion of LPN's and CNA's? Have you had bad experiences with RN's or something? I work with four awesome LPN's and have worked as a nurse tech (like a CNA) myself, and trust me, I know how valuable they are.

    Don't let a few bad eggs spoil your perception of all of us.
  2. by   trvlnRN
    Quote from nursesherry
    I am a new nurse but was a CNA for 15 years before going to school. I was never referred to as a nurse when I was a CNA. I recently went to work in a Doc office where the CNA refers to herself as a Nurse and all of the office personelle refer to her as a nurse. She does everything that I do. I was suprised at this. I have since found that many Doc offices utilize CNA's as nurses. Is this a new thing? I don't want to sound caddy but it just kind of seems like my blood, sweat and tears I put into Nursing school was for nothing if a CNA can do my job. Please don't think this is a smack to CNA's because I have much respect for them as I was one myself for so many years. I would just like to hear some opinions.

    :angryfire I am now quick to point out to CNA's who claim that they are NURSES....that they are nursing ASSISTANTS...not nurses and it is fradulent to claim you are a nurse when you are not. I used to ignore these often common misconceptions. I too worked as a nursing assistant for many years before I became a nurse, but I never referred to myself as a nurse then. I realize that CNA's are very valuable...but I also realize that a CNA who acts as a nurse can be dangerous. There is a big difference between a CNA with a few months training and a nurse with a college degree and a license. I have a BSN and I believe that there should be more distinction between the various levels of nurses and nursing assistants. A CNA passing themselves off as a nurse or a doctor passing a CNA off as a nurse is very wrong. It's small acts like these that decreases our professional standing as nurses...and we shouldn't allow it anywhere.
  3. by   Dixiedi
    Quote from missmercy
    Where do those RNs go to school?! We were most certainly NOT taught that CNAs and LVNs were not as good as we were!! Major generalizations like that can really get under folk's craws!! I value the members of my care team regardless of their educational level -- we all have important roles and if we do them well, we make a great team!! My level of respect tends to drop when someone (rn, lvn, aide, tech, transoirter, volunteer) gets a major chip on their shoulder and "cops a tude" -- being a hard working, ethical professional is what counts and knowing the differences in the LEGAL division of labor -- YOUR SCOPE of PRACTICE -- that's what we were taught!
    Ya'll haven't been readin ghte posts in this forum (many threads on different topics.) The world is full of RNs that feel that way. If I did not say that it does not apply to all RNs, I stand corrected. I DO sometimes make generalizations and ASSUME (we all know about that!) folks will understand. My error.
  4. by   Jen2
    I first worked in a Docs office as an MA, long before I started nursing school and I did injections, put in I.V.'s, monitored patients recieving infusions, allergy skin testing, H-pylori testing, lactose intolerance testing, drew blood,......etc. The list goes on and on. What I am getting at is that all though I did all of these nursing type skills, in no way was I a nurse. I corrected many patients, and the Physicians quite often. I think a big problem is the Physicians. They can hire an MA for $8.00 an hour and tell the patient, "Go have a seat and my NURSE will call you in to have your blood drawn"

    I think the Docs need to be more educated. If I wasn't an honest person I would have went along with all the nurse calling that I got for the 4 years that I worked here. The scary thing is that I cannot now believe that I did some of the things that the Docs delegated to me. Sure I could do the "skill", but I had no idea why I was doing it, or the response that could happen from me doing it. It's almost like Doc's love to try and pass their MA's off as nurses to their patients, and all on less than half the salary as an RN. I think we should start calling Doc's PA's and see how they would like it.
  5. by   nursesherry
    I certainly did not mean to cause all of this controversy. I respect all areas of the nursing profession despite their level of education. One thing I have learned is that noone, not LPN or RN graduates, know it all. When I graduated as an LPN there were several new RN graduates working along side me. They didn't know anymore than I did and we learned together each day as we all still are. Infact, it was the graduate nurses who were previously CNA's who caught on the quickest. Forgive me for stirring up such stink and again I respect you all no matter what your level of education and I pray that each of you use your education mixed with compassion and mercy as you practice, what I believe to be, the most noble profession there is.
  6. by   Nurse Ratched
    Quote from nursesherry
    I certainly did not mean to cause all of this controversy. I respect all areas of the nursing profession despite their level of education. One thing I have learned is that noone, not LPN or RN graduates, know it all. When I graduated as an LPN there were several new RN graduates working along side me. They didn't know anymore than I did and we learned together each day as we all still are. Infact, it was the graduate nurses who were previously CNA's who caught on the quickest. Forgive me for stirring up such stink and again I respect you all no matter what your level of education and I pray that each of you use your education mixed with compassion and mercy as you practice, what I believe to be, the most noble profession there is.
    Sherry, your original post was in no way offensive. One responding post stirred things into a hornet's nest (as sometimes happens .) Your question was legitimate - many folks here have run across the same issue of people who, while performing a very valuable function, are not nurses but call themselves that. It's important to draw boundaries as far as scope of practice, etc. The general public has enough trouble understanding what a nurse is/isn't and can/can't do without health care workers confusing them further lol.
  7. by   Dixiedi
    Quote from nursesherry
    i certainly did not mean to cause all of this controversy. i respect all areas of the nursing profession despite their level of education. one thing i have learned is that noone, not lpn or rn graduates, know it all. when i graduated as an lpn there were several new rn graduates working along side me. they didn't know anymore than i did and we learned together each day as we all still are. infact, it was the graduate nurses who were previously cna's who caught on the quickest. forgive me for stirring up such stink and again i respect you all no matter what your level of education and i pray that each of you use your education mixed with compassion and mercy as you practice, what i believe to be, the most noble profession there is.
    this is a very tough topic for all of us. i truly believe anyone who says it's not isn't being true to themselves.
    i'm an lpn. proud to be an lpn. i am knowledgeable and capable. however, i do not believe any one else to be "more of a nurse" than i simply because they went to school longer or less of a nurse than i because they went to school less time than i.
    yes, cnas and mas are not licensed nurses, but that does not mean they are not a nurse. this is what merriam webster has to say on the subject. the docs who call their cnas and nas nurses are not wrong!
    "main entry: 1nurse
    pronunciation: 'n&rs
    function: noun
    etymology: middle english, from old french nurice, from late latin nutricia, from latin, feminine of nutricius nourishing -- more at nutritious

    1 a : a woman who suckles an infant not her own: wetnurse
    b
    : a woman who takes care of a young child:
    drynurse
    2 : one that looks after, fosters, or advises
    3 : a person who is skilled or trained in caring for the sick or infirm especially under the supervision of a physician
    4 a
    : a member of an insect society that belongs to the worker caste and cares for the young b : a female mammal used to suckle the young of another

    definition #3 is the one i have been referring to. and scope of practice is not an issue if instructed by the md (or other) to perform this prcedure, if you are confident in your abilities then there is no problem. however, i wouldn't want to perform a procedure if i didn't know how it affects the pt both advantageously and adversely.
  8. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from dixiedi
    this is a very tough topic for all of us. i truly believe anyone who says it's not isn't being true to themselves.
    i'm an lpn. proud to be an lpn. i am knowledgeable and capable. however, i do not believe any one else to be "more of a nurse" than i simply because they went to school longer or less of a nurse than i because they went to school less time than i.
    yes, cnas and mas are not licensed nurses, but that does not mean they are not a nurse. this is what merriam webster has to say on the subject. the docs who call their cnas and nas nurses are not wrong!
    "main entry: 1nurse
    pronunciation: 'n&rs
    function: noun
    etymology: middle english, from old french nurice, from late latin nutricia, from latin, feminine of nutricius nourishing -- more at nutritious

    1 a : a woman who suckles an infant not her own: wetnurse
    b
    : a woman who takes care of a young child:
    drynurse
    2 : one that looks after, fosters, or advises
    3 : a person who is skilled or trained in caring for the sick or infirm especially under the supervision of a physician
    4 a
    : a member of an insect society that belongs to the worker caste and cares for the young b : a female mammal used to suckle the young of another

    definition #3 is the one i have been referring to. and scope of practice is not an issue if instructed by the md (or other) to perform this prcedure, if you are confident in your abilities then there is no problem. however, i wouldn't want to perform a procedure if i didn't know how it affects the pt both advantageously and adversely.

    those definition sound quite antiquated. furthermore, the boards of nursing do not recognize nursing assistants as nurses, nor do any nurses i know. nursing assistants and medical assistants are absolutely not nurses, period.
  9. by   missmercy
    I guess I would not count on Webster's definition to save my hind quarters in a court of law!! My mom nurtures and cares for people in their homes -- takes them chicken soup, helps them set up their meds and bathes them -- she is not licensed or certified -- just a good hearted lady who knows how to help make sick people feel better -- that does not make her a nurse!!!! And she would NEVER dream of saying that she is one!!!! When most people say nurse I think they are typically referring to a licensed person -- nurse's aids have training and yes may even be certified, but that is a totally different ball game legally than licensure!!! If a person is saying that they are a nurse and they do not hold a nursing license, they are misrepresenting themselves and doning the nursing profession a huge disservice!! No, additional years of education and a license do not necessarily make a person a better nurse, but it does ensure a minimal level of expertise and a measure of accountability! BTW, just because you are operating under the training of a doc does not mean you are not legally culpable for your actions -- acting outside your state's nurse practice act is illegal regardless of who tells you to do so!!!
  10. by   Dixiedi
    Quote from missmercy
    I guess I would not count on Webster's definition to save my hind quarters in a court of law!! My mom nurtures and cares for people in their homes -- takes them chicken soup, helps them set up their meds and bathes them -- she is not licensed or certified -- just a good hearted lady who knows how to help make sick people feel better -- that does not make her a nurse!!!! And she would NEVER dream of saying that she is one!!!! When most people say nurse I think they are typically referring to a licensed person -- nurse's aids have training and yes may even be certified, but that is a totally different ball game legally than licensure!!! If a person is saying that they are a nurse and they do not hold a nursing license, they are misrepresenting themselves and doning the nursing profession a huge disservice!! No, additional years of education and a license do not necessarily make a person a better nurse, but it does ensure a minimal level of expertise and a measure of accountability! BTW, just because you are operating under the training of a doc does not mean you are not legally culpable for your actions -- acting outside your state's nurse practice act is illegal regardless of who tells you to do so!!!
    The nurse who is confined by the nurse practice act and the nurse who can call herself a licensed nurse are those who graduatd from a approved school of nursing and passed the NCLEX (I've been a licensed nurse for 30 years and only met one nurse who was grandfathered in - formal education not required - and that was at the first hospital I worked with out of school.) Those who nurse without the education and licensing procedure are no less nurses! The practice act in every state I have worked in is somewhat vague. It can be interpretted a number of ways. Those who are not licensed nurses are not bound by the nurse practice act UNLESS he/she claims to be a licensed nurse. Then he/she is claiming to be something he/she is not and are then involved in working outside the nurse practice act.
    It would be nice if a couple of representatives from the BON in a state or two would respond here. I know I am correct but can offer no further proof.
  11. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from Dixiedi
    The nurse who is confined by the nurse practice act and the nurse who can call herself a licensed nurse are those who graduatd from a approved school of nursing and passed the NCLEX (I've been a licensed nurse for 30 years and only met one nurse who was grandfathered in - formal education not required - and that was at the first hospital I worked with out of school.) Those who nurse without the education and licensing procedure are no less nurses! The practice act in every state I have worked in is somewhat vague. It can be interpretted a number of ways. Those who are not licensed nurses are not bound by the nurse practice act UNLESS he/she claims to be a licensed nurse. Then he/she is claiming to be something he/she is not and are then involved in working outside the nurse practice act.
    It would be nice if a couple of representatives from the BON in a state or two would respond here. I know I am correct but can offer no further proof.
    yes, that is a grand idea about BON responding. better yet, i think you need to contact your BON yourself because you have been grossly misinformed.
  12. by   CA CoCoRN
    Quote from nursesherry
    I am a new nurse but was a CNA for 15 years before going to school. I was never referred to as a nurse when I was a CNA. I recently went to work in a Doc office where the CNA refers to herself as a Nurse and all of the office personelle refer to her as a nurse. She does everything that I do. I was suprised at this. I have since found that many Doc offices utilize CNA's as nurses. Is this a new thing? I don't want to sound caddy but it just kind of seems like my blood, sweat and tears I put into Nursing school was for nothing if a CNA can do my job. Please don't think this is a smack to CNA's because I have much respect for them as I was one myself for so many years. I would just like to hear some opinions.
    A CNA is NOT a nurse...just as a PA is NOT a physician. I am very "elitist" when it comes to that. She/he did not have the training I have, and did not sit for the exam that I sat for to EARN my license. He/she is not licensed to perform the duties, nor the assessments that I have the right/scope of practice to perform. According to our state Nurse Practice Act, she/he can be prosecuted for holding him/herself out to be a nurse. It's called "practicing nursing without a license". This is one topic I will fight to the death on. It was my sweat, energy, studying, drive to be what I am...anyone else who didn't go through the hoops that I had to should not (does not deserve to) call him/herself a NURSE. That title is reserved SOLELY for those who have licenses to practice nursing.

    *back to reading*
  13. by   missmercy
    [QUOTE=Dixiedi]Ya'll haven't been readin ghte posts in this forum (many threads on different topics.)

    Another assumption:stone

close