Was at my kid's school today and asked the chick in the nurse's office if she is a "nurse." She said yes--I asked what degree she had (just wondering if she was an LPN or RN as I am thinking about what I want to do after grad).
She told me she is an MA and that she can do anything an RN can do except IV's. She said the only other difference is that RN's get paid more--and she does the same exact work so she doesn't understand why that is. She also stated she has had just as much schooling as an ADN nurse, is just as qualified and has decided not to get her RN 'cuz it is a waste of time.
I was kinda like, "Huh?" I didn't know MA's could go around calling themselves nurses. What is their scope of practice? I thought they just filed stuff and drew blood, but she says she can cath people, give meds, etc. She also said she works under an RN's liscense who she talks to once a week. That scared the poo out of me. I recognize their value but I don't like that they sometimes misrepresent themselves as nurses--as far as I know, they are not.
Maybe I am just an ignorant student, but this conversation really surprised me! How do you guys respond to this kind of stuff?
Nov 8, '06
If she affirmed that she was a nurse, she has just committed fraud and should be reported to the BON and to her bosses at work. She is an MA and should identify herself as such. As far as the rest (being just as qualified as an RN except for IV's) we all know that is laughable. She knows it too and just is living in deep DEEP denial. This goes along with being extremely unprofessional. When is it ever ok to start complaining about salary to a client? (which you are as a parent to a school nurse). I worked as a health assistant under the supervision of a nurse. The first thing we ever learned on that job was that you are NEVER to refer to yourself as a nurse. What she is doing is wrong, unethical and illegal. If she had just as much schooling as an R.N. and is just as qualified then why didn't she just go to R.N. school? She thinks she is doing the same job with the same training for less pay. That would make her pretty dumb now wouldn't it?
Last edit by smk1 on Nov 8, '06
Nov 8, '06
This issue has been visited numerous times on allnurses. Should be easy enough to find in a search. It a hot topic. Basically it boils down to this:
Using the term "nurse" is illegal unless you have a nursing license. This person can be prosecuted for impersonating a nurse. MA's do not have the same education nor capable of doing everything RN's and LPN's do except for IV's. They don't even come close. MA's are very capable within their job description. Many do not attempt to pass theirselves off as nurses. They are proud of being MA's and identify themselves properly. Sadly, all to many are nurse wannabee's and saying they are nurses is so unethical and illegal.
I have argued with one particular MA who just does not give up so I discussed it with the doctor she works for. She still persisted in identifying herself as a nurse. I discussed it with the ethics committe at the hospital and wow guess what? She gets it now. We are not allowed to take orders from anyone other than a licensed person and if they continually tell you they are doctor so and so's nurse you have to ask LPN? RN? Then we have to ask to speak with the doctor.
Last edit by DutchgirlRN on Nov 8, '06