Call yourself a nurse?

  1. Call yourself a Nurse?

    Long post warning

    I know this issue has come up before but I have a problem with an individual who is apparently doing the above, calling herself a Nurse when as far as I can see she's not.

    The situation is complicated, I'm in the UK, though not British by birth, and this person is American, now I've 'lurked' here a bit and occasionally posted but I confess that I really don't always understand some of the abbreviations and distinctions made in the threads.

    We both work for a private Company,in the UK, and in this role have no patient contact, which is why I haven't made a big deal of this before.

    I'm part time in my private role and also work as a senior nursing sister in the NHS, and I will say that the company has been very good to me, they have been very flexible towards me as regards my days of work (I'm contracted to work two set days but their attitude is once I work the hours I'm contracted to they don't mind too much which days I work, I acknowledge that I am very fortunate in this and this is part of why I'm pi**ed off as I feel that she is conning them too)

    There is also the issue that she claims (ok I was trying to be very good, but giving away gender isn't too bad is it?) anyhow she has on her CV that she served in the forces, which also really gets me. But if she is ever asked about it the story changes each time and has actively denied been in the forces to another member of staff. (This is a sore point as my partner is in the forces and served in Iraq but that's another story)

    Anyway to get to the points this person claims that
    1. She was active in the armed forces
    2. That she is a nurse


    In her CV she has that she was a "Health Care Administrator" and claims that this means she's a nurse? Is this right?

    Nowhere does she give where she gained her RN? Now I worked hard for my RN qualification, but if I'd had to pay to do my training it like you do in the USA, I'd have it tattooed on my forehead.

    She has stated on numerous occasions that she's 'the same as a nurse ' but that the UK won't recognize her as such.

    Now I've worked with a lot of nurses who trained in other countries (Spanish, French, Swedish, Philippine, Irish, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Aus NZ as well as some from the US) and ALL of them say that it is a lot easier to be recognised in the UK that in the US, and a lot of the nurses from the Philippines come here to work while studying for the NCLEX.

    As regards nursing education in the UK, you can either go the Diploma or degree route; at the end of each you are still a RN. The reason most nurses go the Dip route is that it has an attached bursary, yes, not only do you not have to pay tuition but the government also give you approx 5305 a year/ $10435 a year to train as a nurse.
    To do degree level you still come out with an RN but also with student loans, so most so the Dip route and once they decide the area they want to stay in, do top up courses in order to specialise in that area

    Anyway this person has told other staff that
    - I cannot be a nurse because she's looked at my CV and I 'only' have a diploma in nursing.

    - That my partner can't have been in Iraq, because she's seen him and doesn't recognise him. I mean really?

    - Has given medical advice to other members of staff that is frankly dangerous, some of them have got annoyed with me because I say I can not diagnose, I advise you to go to your GP, the reply is 'but ***** said I should ..............'To which I bite my tongue and say I can only say I would not do that personally and would see my GP

    - Has confused basic medical terminology, now we all have bad days but bad weeks? But recently spent hours claiming that Atrial Fibrillation and Atrial Flutter were the same thing? When another member of staff asked me to 'adjudicate' she then claimed that in the US the two terms are interchangeable, I find that difficult to believe.

    Now we review info from drug trials, if you had the choice of giving / taking a drug that has the possible side effect of A. Fibrillation or a drug that has the same outcomes but has the possible side effect of A. Flutter which would you choose?

    - She appears to recognize that in calling her self a nurse that she is doing wrong. In that I started work at the company a few months after her, until then she was claiming to various members of the team that she was an RN waiting to register in the UK and once she did she was going to start looking for work at the local hospital. (You do not need a nursing qualification to hold my current post, so I didn't really make anything of me being a nurse when I started mainly to avoid been asked questions/ told histories about colleagues medical issues.) How it came up was that one of her team trying to be helpful (and get her to leave) told her what my other job was and suggested that I could help her with getting her registration and finding a job.
    This is when her story changed from I'm a nurse to I'm the same as a nurse. And then claimed to various colleagues that they had misunderstood her and that they didn't understand the difference between US and UK nursing

    As I said at the start this is a long post, but what I really want to know is does having a

    'Bachelor of Science Honours in Health Services Administration'
    mean that you are a RN?

    To be honest at this point she is not only giving nurses a bad name but really giving US nurses and their training a bad name.
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   Silverdragon102
    wow...

    recent changes in UK immigration make it hard for nurses outside the EU get a work permit to work in the UK. Employers have to employ UK, EU then elsewhere and justify why not used UK or EU. NMC takes approx 8-12 months to process applicant and they have to pass an english exam regardless of where they are from and complete 20 day protected learning course at a recognised uni and that is before they will issue NMC number. work permit a lot harder. Makes me wonder how she got a work permit for the UK

    AF and Aflutter are 2 different conditions see this link http://www.patient.co.uk/showdoc/40000555/

    personally would advice most to see either pharmasist or GP regarding anythng medical but have given general advice on colds
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Feb 11, '07 : Reason: spelling
  4. by   kat911
    A degree in Health Care Admin is not a nursing degree, nor is it "the same as". She still must have either a diploma, an associate degree in Nursing or a Bachelors degree in nursing. Here anyone claiming to be a nurse, who isn't can be prosecuted. Do your laws or Nursing regulations allow for that? Sounds like she needs to be confronted and she needs to quit giving advice. Has the personnel office verified her degree/education, she could be lying about that too, worth investigating.
  5. by   MBARNBSN
    I have a friend with a BS degree in Health Care. She is not a nurse nor is she the "same as" a nurse. She has returned to school (nursing school) to receive the education in order to qualify to sit for the NCLEX and apply for her license.

    The woman of which you speak is lying (being misleading or knowingly allowing people to misunderstand is the samething to me)! I suppose she thought that since she is not in the US she would get away with the lie.

    Plus, she knows her degree does not mean anything to health care these days. Especially since many employers in the US are hiring or prefer to hire Registered Nurses to do what she qualifies to do. I have worked in health care for many years and have held positions that "prefer" a Registered Nurse but have accepted people with other degrees related to health care when a Registered Nurse could not be found (of course at considerable lower pay).

    Call her on the lie and tell her co-workers so it stops! If she wants to be the "same as" a Registered Nurse then she needs to do what the rest of us are doing; earn a NURSING DEGREE!
    Last edit by MBARNBSN on Feb 11, '07
  6. by   Katnip
    To call yourself a nurse in the US you have to have a license. It sounds like she's saying she's and RN so she has to have that license to back her story up.

    In the UK when applying to be a nurse there, wouldn't a US or any other citizen have to show proof of licensure in their home country?

    You know if you find out what state she supposedly has her license, you may be ablt to look it up on the state's BON website. At least most states do. It won't give you her license number, but will tell whether she has one and whether it's active.

    Doesn't she have to have a license in the UK to get a job in a hospital? I'm curious about that. I heard it was harder for US nurses to get licenses in the UK.

    Edit to add: Either way, if she were found to falsify employment information through CVs, resumes, or applications, she could very easily lose her job.
    Last edit by Katnip on Feb 11, '07
  7. by   Silverdragon102
    Quote from cyberkat
    To call yourself a nurse in the US you have to have a license. It sounds like she's saying she's and RN so she has to have that license to back her story up.

    In the UK when applying to be a nurse there, wouldn't a US or any other citizen have to show proof of licensure in their home country?

    You know if you find out what state she supposedly has her license, you may be ablt to look it up on the state's BON website. At least most states do. It won't give you her license number, but will tell whether she has one and whether it's active.

    Doesn't she have to have a license in the UK to get a job in a hospital? I'm curious about that. I heard it was harder for US nurses to get licenses in the UK.

    Edit to add: Either way, if she were found to falsify employment information through CVs, resumes, or applications, she could very easily lose her job.
    Yes in the UK to work as a nurse you have to go through NMC and for a foreign trained nurse you have to have atleast 3 years training. There are a lot of hoops to go through before getting a NMC number and without that you can't practice.
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Feb 11, '07 : Reason: spelling
  8. by   TazziRN
    You are a nurse only if you have an Associate's or Bachelor's in Science and have passed the NCLEX. I'm not sure if we still have diploma programs in the US, but if we do, graduation from that is required along with passing the NCLEX. If one has graduated and has NOT passed the NCLEX, one is not a nurse.
  9. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from TazziRN
    You are a nurse only if you have an Associate's or Bachelor's in Science and have passed the NCLEX. I'm not sure if we still have diploma programs in the US, but if we do, graduation from that is required along with passing the NCLEX. If one has graduated and has NOT passed the NCLEX, one is not a nurse.

    Or Diploma in Nursing and passed the NCLEX.

    We still have diploma programs here.
  10. by   NRSKarenRN
    bachelor of science in health services administration is not a nursing degree program in the us but rather an education program to teach managment of healthcare businesses.

    federal government info: medical and health services managers


    drexel u niversity's description sums up degree:

    the health-services administration bachelor of science (b.s.) degree program, which consists of 180 quarter credits (120 semester credits), is designed to give students a foundation in general management and economic principles and policies related to health care and enables students to qualify for administrative/managerial positions in hospitals, managed-care organizations, health-insurance companies, and health-marketing firms. the program exposes students to the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the health-care industry by means of health-services-administration courses related to policy, law, economics, management, and marketing, as well as interdisciplinary courses dealing with religious, ethical, psychosocial, political, and historical perspectives on health-care practices.
    in addition, the curriculum can prepare students wishing to pursue graduate studies in health-services administration, business administration, public health, health communication, and law.
    http://www.drexel.com/uploadedfiles/...ch_program.pdf


    google search: http://www.google.com/search?rls=ggi...=google+search
  11. by   jill48
    I know this topic comes up alot, but I never stop getting angry about it. I'm so tired of people saying they are nurses when they are not. I have decided that from this point on I will ask them, "Are you really a nurse or do you just think you are?" And if they still say they are, I will say, "Prove it." They could either pull out their nursing identification card they got from the state (if they really are a nurse), or we can go online to the state board of nursing and they can show me their name. I don't care if they take offense; if someone wanted me to prove that I was really a nurse, I would be more than happy.
  12. by   kittagirl
    Thank you all for your replies. I think I knew in my heart of hearts that she wasn't a nurse, but this person gives off a very strange vibe anyway.
    I'm also sure that's she aware of how she is misleading people ie: how she stopped tell people at work that she was a nurse once she found out that I was. She now just states that she has 'medical experience/ knowledge'
    It's difficult at the moment to call her on it she is very careful what she says around me now; all her undermining comments are done behind my back. And I also wanted to be secure in my knowledge before I said anything; she is a very odd character and has a tendency to claim discrimination whenever any one disagrees with her.

    To answer some of your questions, she has ‘leave to stay’ as she is married to a UK citizen.
    As for the A.Fib. vs A. Flutter, she just wouldn’t listen, she was right! Not!
    I, like you, Sliverdragon will not give medical advice other that the keep warm, drink plenty of fluids, follow the instructions on the packet type (though I did shout at one of my team when they told me they never finish a course of antibiotics, they just stop taking then when they feel better.)

    MBA2BRN I agree, that I think she didn’t think she’d get pulled on it, as she’s not in the US. (Forgot about the wonders of the Internet).

    Cyberkat; yes as in the UK as in the US you need a licence to practice. To be recognised as a nurse trained in another country, you need to be able to prove that your training is of the same level of that in the UK, and then it’s miles and miles of paperwork and waiting and more paper work.

    Kat911, yes we also have laws protecting the title of ‘Nurse’ but as we’re not in direct patient contact it would be very difficult to prove, nor do you need a nursing qualification to hold the post. As regards the advice, the staff have picked up the difference in our replies to their personal medical questions and one has asked me outright why will I not give advice.
    My reply was along the lines of ‘I am a professional, I know my limitations, I have a licence to protect. Any other qualified nurse should and would give you the same answer.’
    Which got a few raised eyebrows.

    Thanks for all the other info and the link; it just helps put things clearer in my mind. I am not by nature a confrontational person, but like you Jill48 I am so hacked off at people claiming to be a Nurse when they’re not, I am quite happy to prove my status and see nothing wrong in having to do, after all nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide. I have worked my way up from a Health Care Assistant (similar to your CNA) I never called myself a nurse then and always corrected patients when they called me ‘Staff Nurse’, in the same way that I did when I was a student. (Happened a lot then as I was an ‘older’ student and most of my mentors were about 10+ years younger than me, so it was assumed that they were the student).
    Like MBA2BRN says if you want the title do the work……………….
  13. by   gonzo1
    Before I became a nurse I loved to play doctor and give people medical advice. Since getting my RN I have seen the error of my ways and no longer give medical advice. It just isn't safe. I always tell every one they need to see their doctor. I worked too hard for my degree to chance loosing it. No one ever gets mad at me for not helping them and most are amazed and happy when I tell them to see their doctor.
  14. by   mmsparkle
    Oh Kittagirl, I would be *so* annoyed in your place.
    I'm a UK nurse who went the degree route...still paying off the loans 5 years later!

    Your colleague clearly knows she is wrong, as she changed her behaviour around you.
    I sometimes get fed up with NA's / HCA's calling themselves 'nurse' (ooh, controversial topic...I know they're all part of the team and have a very caring / nursing role... don't flame me) and they have far more of a right than your colleague, with an admin degree?!

    Stay calm, stay away form her. If people realise she's not right (=lying) about some things, they'll soon learn to take everything she says with a pinch of salt.

    Good luck.

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