Are CNA's considered "Nurses"? - page 7

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   leslie :-D
    Quote from CA CoCoRN
    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*
    there's not even an argument here, and nothing to defend. it's black and white, clear and simple, and easy to uphold. the BON will tell her in no uncertain terms if she really wants to know.
  2. by   SCRN1
    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.
    yeah, here's one of the other many words that have more than one meaning, but are you telling me that they are the same also? like with a leaf...a leaf that falls from a tree is the same kind of leaf that holds the table together from the middle? try doing that & the table will fall! <there's another point made. use something outside of what it's supposed to be and it doesn't work the same.


    main entry: 1leaf
    pronunciation: 'lef
    function: noun
    inflected form(s): plural leaves /'levz/; also leafs /'lefs/
    usage: often attributive
    etymology: middle english leef, from old english leaf; akin to old high german loub leaf
    1 a (1) : a lateral outgrowth from a plant stem that is typically a flattened expanded variably shaped greenish organ, constitutes a unit of the foliage, and functions primarily in food manufacture by photosynthesis (2) : a modified leaf primarily engaged in functions other than food manufacture b (1) : foliage <trees in full leaf> (2) : the leaves of a plant as an article of commerce
    2 : something suggestive of a leaf: as a : a part of a book or folded sheet containing a page on each side b (1) : a part (as of window shutters, folding doors, or gates) that slides or is hinged (2) : the movable parts of a table top c (1) : a thin sheet or plate of any substance : lamina (2) : metal (as gold or silver) in sheets usually thinner than foil (3) : one of the plates of a leaf spring
    - leaf-less /'lef-l&s/ adjective
    - leaf-like /'lef-"lik/ adjective
    Last edit by SCRN1 on May 27, '04
  3. by   RN34TX
    Quote from Alnamvet
    Sounds like I exposed a raw nerve, eh? Well, just keep studying, get your RN, maybe an MSN, and let me know how you feel then...bottom line...there is no longer room in health care today for minimally prepared providers. An RN should be the bare minimum for nursing practice, and all titles referring to a nurse less than an RN should be eliminated. Ancillary staff, preferably, would be EMT's or Paramedics, who come prepared with a broad, and expansive set of skills, most usefull IN the hospital setting. Lastly, attack the message, not the messenger, hon...
    "Get your RN.....and let me know how you feel then..." I've heard that before when I was an LPN. I did get my RN, now how am I supposed to feel? I thought I'd feel different because people like you kept telling me that, but it didn't happen.
    A joint commission inspector once gave me that same attitude and I wasn't understanding where he was coming from. He walked into the ICU and asked me "How many nurses are working in here today" I told him 6. He said, "NO, you have 4." I insisted that we had 6 nurses working. He corrected me again and said "you have 4 nurses and 2 LVN's, that's not 6 nurses."
    I was thinking to myself--is he mathematically challenged?
    Then he asked me, "Under what circumstances can an LVN replace an RN?" So I told him that if we are short an RN we will float an LVN from another unit, etc.. then he snapped at me and said "The correct answer is never. An LVN NEVER replaces an RN!! You should be floating other RN's into this ICU, why are you using LVN's?" So I told him that I needed people whose skills best matched the patient population. These LVN's can manage ventilators, read rhythm strips, manage and titrate cardiac drips, they can't push cardiac meds but they still were a great help to the ICU. It just made better sense than trying to float in RN's from other specialties, say Rehab, psych, or even Med/Surg for that matter as many Med/Surg RN's are very shaky about vents and heart monitors and can't read strips. That was not a slight to RN's in those specialties but they just would have a harder time trying to work ICU.
    As polite and thorough in my thinking as I tried to be, he just wasn't hearing it. We did not receive any type of deficiency as the LVN's in our ICU operated within their scope of practice, that was just his opinion on using LVN's in the ICU. I wished he would have kept it about state and joint commission guidelines and kept his opinion to himself as it didn't do him or us any good, LVN's are still used in that ICU.
    The point is, you can't reason with people who who put all their stock into titles and level of education while turning a blind eye to actual skills and knowledge needed in a given setting. Maybe they will change their mind one day when they are the patient in an ICU that doesn't allow LVN/LPN's to work there but would gladly float an RN there with no ICU needed skills simply because they are an RN.
    Another thing I don't understand is how you would prefer "Ancillary staff" to be EMT's but LPN/LVN's wouldn't be a good enough level of training for you? Could you explain that logic to me?
  4. by   KriseeLPN
    Quote from Alnamvet
    You are right...just like the N in CNA....and the N in NA....and like the N in NT....a CNA and a LPN just doesn't cut it anymore; get over it....feel slighted? that's on you...get used to it :stone

    CNA = Certified (not licenced) Nursing ASSISTANT (NOT NURSE)
    NA = Nursing Assistant (not nurse)
    NT=Nursing Tech (not nurse)

    LPN= LICENCED (LICENCED LICENCED LICENCED ) PRACTICAL NURSE


    AS AN LPN THE ONLY THING I AM NOT ABLE TO DO (BASED ON SCOPE OF PRACTICE) IS PUSH IV MEDS, CHEMO, AND HANG BLOOD PRODUCTS


    I am not a wanna be as you call us, but a trained, educated member (licenced just like the RN) of the Healthcare field. I do not only hand out certain medications as you say, but insert foleys, give injections, assessments, wound care (and no not just a band-aid) end of life care, emotional support and much more.

    So yes it is offensive when you come in hear and say an LPN is a wannabe. WE ARE NURSES
  5. by   tmiller027
    Quote from Alnamvet
    CNA's, NA, LPN....need to go by the way side....safe care comes from broadly "educated" and "trained" RN's and ARNP's. The time has come to eliminate so-called caregivers who's only training is how to do a BP, change a diaper, d/c an IV, and administer a limited amount of drugs. The times are a changin', and the need for poorly prepared wannabees is ending. What we need is to increase the standards, require that ALL health care providers take the same pre-reqs as a pre-med, pre-nursing, pre-PA...after the pre-reqs are met, one may choose the MD/DO route, nursing route, Paramedic route, PT route. This will place ALL on the same playing field, and eliminate further discussions about who is better prepared, better educated, better trained, etc. The only differences, in the end, may be compensation, but what you choose, after your pre-reqs, should not get in the way of having earned the respect and privilege of a well educated and trained health care provider.
    And here I thought he only picked on CNAs

    Tim (a wannabe)
  6. by   kids
    Quote from nursesherry
    Actually no, the CNA is really superior to me in the eyes of the management there. They consult her on all nursing questions without giving me a second thought.
    To me this is far more scarey than the CNA calling her self (and being called ) "Nurse". I would be actively looking for another job.
  7. by   movealong
    I worked as an aide while going through LPN school. Then I worked as an LPN going through RN school. I really do not look down on CNA's or LPN's, having been there myself. When I worked as an aide, I never considered myself a nurse.

    But a CNA is not a nurse. Forget Webster's. It does not apply to the discussion. When we talking about CNA's working in a medical situation, the definition for who is a nurse is different. Otherwise anyone who has had any kind of training could call themselves a nurse. Are paramedics nurses? and so on....And it just isn't true. The state does not perceive CNA's as nurses. They are not licensed to practice as nurses. Case closed.

    It's not meant to be disrepectful. It in no way takes away from a CNA's valve.
  8. by   oldfolksnurse
    Quote from BayMae10
    OK maybe i am way off here, but what about MA's they work in the same capacity as a nurse....in an office! before becoming a nurse thats what i did as well as working for a lab.....my role in the dr's office didnt change. just wanted to throw that out there. and as for the CNA saying she is a nurse well ok dont do that....but, some state like the one i live in an work next too, they have CNA's passing meds and doing charts and yes even the narcotics! they take a class so that can be kinda confusing for pt's espically the older population. i'm not making excuses for her just saying that sometimes the little old ladies just dont get it......
    An MA that works in a doctor's office is still NOT a nurse. They may do a similar job, but the MA does not have a license, they are certified, like a Certified Nursing Assistant.
    I was acquainted with a MA several years ago, when I was an LPN, who introduced me to her children as, "she's a nurse just like mommy." I didn't correct her in front of her children, but that just chapped my behind! :angryfire
  9. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    See, the cooth one that i am (ha-ha), i would have said "Wait i thought you were a medical assistant?".
  10. by   Jen2
    Same thing happened to me. When we had to go to a Pediatricians office for nursing school, one of the MA's proudly stated that when she was in nursing school she was taught this way. I then told her that I thought she was a MA and she said "Oh same difference". I looked at her and said "Well I am an MA so what the heck am I doing in nursing school if it's the same difference. She didn't have a reply.
  11. by   Dixiedi
    Quote from Jen2
    Same thing happened to me. When we had to go to a Pediatricians office for nursing school, one of the MA's proudly stated that when she was in nursing school she was taught this way. I then told her that I thought she was a MA and she said "Oh same difference". I looked at her and said "Well I am an MA so what the heck am I doing in nursing school if it's the same difference. She didn't have a reply.
    They are wrong to introduce themselves as nurses "just like" you. They are not licensed nurses.
    I didn't say they are nurses I just said it is OK for the MD to call them nurses if he so chooses becasue they do fall within the definition of nurse. NOT licensed nurse. There is a huge difference.
  12. by   Havin' A Party!
    Had to pop in to see the need for nine pages of posts on the question posed.

    My, my is the group ever feeling silly these days!

    Enjoy! ;>)
  13. by   TexasPoodleMix
    This has nothing to do with the post but I'm glad to see that many worked as cnas while getting their lvn or rns.... i see it is possible. I am thinking of doing the same.

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