non-licensed coworkers

  1. Some background...
    I have been an LPN for almost 5 years. I am young and I went to school young, but I am a very hard worker and take pride in being a nurse. I work at a large multi-specialty clinic and I have been here since I got out of school. Not long after I started work here the DON had things changed because there were MA's and people that were "grandfathered" in working under her (she was an RN). So that was all changed and the clinic said they were not going to hire MA's anymore. Now the present ones are under a non- nursing supervisor. They have hired a couple of MA's here lately. No problem, no big deal. My problem (along with many other LPNs that work here) is that there are a couple of these MA's that tell patients and other people that they are nurses. Isnt there a rule or law about people saying they are nurses when they arent? If anyone can say it, whats to keep up LPN's from just saying we are an RN? Or any person off the street saying they are a nurse. Its frustrating. Anyone know the rule or guideline on this? One of my fellow LPN's mentioned it to their supervisor and was pretty much told that the MA's can call themselves nurses if they want and that no one was going to tell them they couldnt!!!
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   star.crush
    well i guess it matters where you work
  4. by   sunnyjohn
    Check with your BON (state Board of Nursing), but is against the law to call yourself a nurse if you do not have a license.

    ....not to mention disrespectful to the people who worked so hard studying for the title.

    It's no different than someone who never went to med school calling themselves "doctor"
    Last edit by sunnyjohn on Dec 9, '06
  5. by   BSNtobe2009
    Sunnyjohn is correct. The term is a copywrighted profession reserved only for those that are licensed through the BON, and it is illegal.

    If they are providing care at a hospital and telling patients they are nurses, they are setting themselves and the hospital up for a huge lawsuit if something goes wrong, because I highly suspect they may be engaging in healthcare procedures outside their scope of practice.

    I have heard of MA's doing work trained and working under a DOCTOR because he usually either owns the practice or is a partner in the practice and the MA is directly employed by him or the practice. However, I have never heard of an MA working under another RN's license and I think an RN would be stupid to allow it. An RN is an employee of the hospital and I don't think an RN has the authority to make those kinds of decisions.
  6. by   SCRN1
    From what I've been told, anyone who takes care of people can claim to be a nurse. But it is illegal to represent yourself as being a LICENSED nurse, such as LPN or RN if you really aren't.
    Last edit by SCRN1 on Dec 8, '06 : Reason: left out a word
  7. by   BSNtobe2009
    NursingWorld | State Government Relations: Protecting the Title Nurse

    States protecting the legal term of "nurse"
  8. by   dream'n
    This topic seems to pop up here quite often. MAs cannot legally present themselves at anytime, or under any circumstance whatsoever, as nurses. It is illegal, and any place of employment that allows it can get in trouble with the BON and the law. You can report it to your state BON and they will investigate. MAs do not legally have a scope of practice in most (if not all) states. Legally they cannot practice medicine, but as for practicing nursing procedures, they generally can do whatever their individual employer allows. They do not have a license, although in some, few and far between states, they are required to be certified. Their practice is much less regulated than nursing, and many employers are finding that they are cheaper to employee and not hampered with BON/legal guidelines, as again they are not licenced. This is not my opinion, these are the facts.
  9. by   GingerSue
    where I am, "nurse" is a legally protected title that can be used only by people who are registered with the licensing professional association, (and to be licensed/registered means that the person has completed appropriate program of study, has written licensing/registration exams)

    check with your local registering association re: who can use the title "nurse"
  10. by   Princess74
    In the USA (most states) it is NOT legal to call yourself a:
    1. Nurse
    2. LPN/LVN
    3. RN
    4. NP......etc, etc...
    unless you have gone to nursing school and passed the NCLEX.

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