Being labeled an MA but an LPN

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    I am unsure of how to approach this situation. I was recently hired on at a clinic within a large hospital system. The job posting called for an MA but I knew for this particular hospital system they will also accept LPN licensure and pay you as an
    LPN.

    My last job that was a clinic that the original posting was for an MA but I took a chance, applied, and was brought on as an LPN.

    Today I went to security to get my badge and it lists me as an MA on my badge and internally in the system. Now I am really not one to get hung up on titles, I am not an LPN that steps into a MA position expecting for everyone to refer to me as THE nurse (as in the RN). Clinic type hours are the only thing I can work right now so I know my skills are limited there but I have to say, as irrational as this is, I am not comfortable being labeled and identified as an MA. I am proud of my LPN and really had to work like everyone else to get it. I have NO MA certification at all.

    I had spoken to HR briefly because I was confused, maybe they didn't realize I was an LPN somehow? HR said yes of course we know your an LPN but the plant we work at (occupational health clinic, hospital has contract with them) wants an MA...ok? I was very confused at this point. So you are paying me LPN pay but I am supposed to state I am a MA when asked? I am not sure I feel comfortable with this.

    Another thing is I want to be in this system a long time, there are so many opportunities, and in a couple of years when my kids are more independent I would like to apply for one of the LPN travel clinic jobs where you float in a certain dept but all different locations, it pays well and I would do it now but the hours start to early where I can't have daycare. So now I am mainly worried I will forever be labeled as an MA and people will be very confused when I am applying for LPN listings.

    I want to email HR and discuss this but in a way that doesn't come off as an ego trip. I really want to do this job, it's perfect for me right now and for some years to come but I am afraid it will ruin my LPN career and I am just plain being proud because I deserved those letters and now I feel like I am being demoted when this was not told to me pre interview...any advise? How should I put this email to HR. it's really bugging me and I do not want not to affect my first few days.
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  3. 14 Comments so far...

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    I agree that this could be an issue. If your state is like mine, you will be held to the accountability level of your highest level of licensure, regardless of what role you work in your a licensed nurse. It's good that your at least getting paid as an LPN, but I would talk to someone, like you said you were going to do.

    The scope of practice and training of a LPN and the MA may overlap in some areas, but they are 2 different things. MAs and LPNs are two different positions.

    Im not saying MA's are invaluable or whatever, but I didn't go through the frustration, blood, sweat, and tears of nursing school to get out and be called an MA, I didn't go through MA school.
    SleeepyRN likes this.
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    No I don't they are invaluable at all either! I trained a lot from the MA's at my last clinic they were all ten times more proficient at blood draw then I was and I learned invaluable tips from them...I just worry about the reaction from HR I guess...I don't want them to take it wrong ya know? I have to assume its legal since its a huge system but I don't feel I was properly informed in the sense that I am now labeled as an a MA...had I have know that it would have factored into my decision.
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    Maybe going through HR isnt the best way. Do you have a hiring manager you can speak with? Or your supervisor? HR often arent clinical, so they may not understand your concerns. They are telling you that an MA was needed, so that is how they labeled you. They may not understand your concern about scope of practice, practicing below your licensed level, and how this may impact future employment opportunities. If its just a title of formality (because they needed an MA), there should be no skin off of their back to correctly identify you as an LPN.
    GrnTea likes this.
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    Thanks for your response...that's what I was thinking..if its just a title then it should be easy to fix..I sent HR a email as a first step, my next will be to talk to my NM about my concerns if I am
    still getting the same thing from them. I had only met her during my interview so I felt strange emailing her about it because I didn't want her to get an ego trip type idea of me .I am doing the exact same duties as my last job and being paid the same so this is very confusing.
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    You are not an MA, you are an LPN. I wouldn't want to have my job title listed as HUC or EMT (with all due respect) when I'm an RN, I wouldn't want my name badge to read LPN. I'm an RN. (I was an LPN for 4 years...) my clinic job did that to me too, when I was an LPN, my name plate listed me as a CMA- no biggie, I just told my nurse manager, and they fixed it.

    I guess I wouldn't be able to help just a little bitty ego trip- come on, you worked hard for your LPN, the state recognizes you as an LPN. You do LPN stuff, you get paid as an LPN. You're in no way shape or form an MA.
    OCNRN63 likes this.
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    Thanks peep that made me feel like I am doing the right thing, I thought I was overreacting...I do not not want to be called an MA just as much as I wouldn't want to be labeled an RN because that's not what I earned my title in. You can't put an MA in LTC and called them an LPN...I do want and need this job, I had left nursing for almost a year due to small kids and I need to get back in the game ASAP ...any advice as to what to say if they keep insisting I have to be labeled as an MA? I am hoping to hear them say different on Monday after reading my email.
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    Here's the thing. Many people have no clue what the big letters on your badge mean unless it is MD, RN, LPN. The rest really will often not be easily recognizable to patients. (MA, CMA, PCT, PCA....) So the big letters could say MA, and where your name is could be Hippy Dippy, LPN. You are an LPN who is working in a MA postion. This doesn't make you any less of an LPN. The MA is the POSITION you hold, the LPN should be the credential after your name. That may be something HR would be willing to do.
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    I would refer you to the BON in you state. It does matter. In my state you can't represent yourself as something you're not. That's like a CNA with MA on their badge...it matters. It sounds like who ever you talked to in HR is not up to par on the legal aspect of these matters and is more concerned about aesthetics. To them it may seem like no big deal but it actually is.

    Read you nurse practice act for your state and contact the BON. You could also try talking to someone else like your boss on the floor or an RN. This is serious business and you are not over reacting. If any cases you work on went to court how would it look if the place you work can't even get the titles to their own personnel right? The big letters do matter big time.

    My advice for you is to tell them from a legal standpoint they are asking you to misrepresent yourself then quote whatever you find from your research.
    sharpeimom and GrnTea like this.
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    It all depends on your BON. In my state an RN/LPN can work as a CNA. Look. You interviewed for an MA position, and you were hired for an MA position. Your title is MA at your workplace.

    Sure your license says your an LPN, but at work, at this job, you are not. It's really very simple. All you need to do is check if it's OK with your BON, if not, then you need to quit. There was no smokescreen from what you've posted. Nobody will elevate your title to your liking in nursing, etc. If your tasks are not of an LPN, but they are of an MA, and that is the job you accepted, you should not be questioning the integrity of your employer.
    sallyrnrrt likes this.


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