I'm a pre-nursing student (applying my second time this year) exploring concepts regarding nursing. I've recently began reading about the scope of practice with regards to CNAs, LPNs, and RNs. I'm trying to figure out a technical difference between identification of symptoms, and actual diagnosis. For example. I can easily identify an infected ear in my son, or a subconjunctival hemorrhage in a resident/patient I'm caring for. As a nurse, can I officially state, "patient has subconjunctival hemorrhage," or not? The difference between identifying dyspnea and diagnosing asthma is most apparent, but there seem to be grey areas in my understanding. What would be proper procedure if you believed your patient had a dissecting aortic aneurysm to state exactly what you believe it is, or that there's simply a cardiac event based on certain symptoms and activate the proper response?