Nurse tech working as RN

  1. So at my facility, a short-term rehabilitation center with a few long-term care patients, nurse techs can cover RN shifts, only if the shift is a NOC shift. Is this legal? Just want to make sure this is okay before I agree to anything. Nurse techs have been doing this for a long time before I ever got hired, which was recently. Still, I want to make sure.
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  2. 66 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from esrun77
    So at my facility, a short-term rehabilitation center with a few long-term care patients, nurse techs can cover RN shifts, only if the shift is a NOC shift. Is this legal? Just want to make sure this is okay before I agree to anything. Nurse techs have been doing this for a long time before I ever got hired, which was recently. Still, I want to make sure.
    A "nurse tech" can be different things in different places and be governed by different bodies. An RN has a scope of practice, but can also work beneath it. So I guess it depends on where in the world you are ad what exactly is being done ...who's ultimately supervising may also come into play.
  4. by   Been there,done that
    What would your scope of practice include.. in this "coverage"?
  5. by   esrun77
    My scope is not limited. I would be doing assessment, MD communication, med administration, you name it. For reference, nurse techs have to be nursing students who have passed pharmacology.
  6. by   applewhitern
    I wonder if the patients are told that they aren't getting a real, licensed nurse.
  7. by   Scottishtape
    So, you're practicing nursing without a nursing license?

    To answer your question, yes, that's bad.
  8. by   esrun77
    Okay. Well there is another RN in the facility. I take back my question, I'm sorry, I think this would qualify as somewhat of an internship type position. I'm working as an RN, but only during NOC shift and never without an RN nearby
  9. by   LovingLife123
    You cannot do assessments. You cannot work as an RN. You can fulfill your tech duties under an RN, but cannot act as one, even on night shift.

    I think there is a miscommunication here. A facility cannot ask you to work in the capacity of a nurse. Maybe you would have expanded duties as a tech, but all within your scope of practice. Have you been trained to administer medications? What is your training as a "tech"? I thought LTC facilities had to employ CNAs as they are certified to do certain things. Whereas, when I was a tech in the hospital, I didn't have to be certified because my scope was very limited. I was not allowed to touch a medication, ever.

    But you can never work in the capacity of a RN or LPN. Ever.
  10. by   cleback
    You cannot work as an RN. You work as a tech/nurse intern.

    Your initial post was a bit misleading if there is in fact a nurse in the building directly supervising you.

    I would still be careful with this arrangement, as it seems they would want you to work independently. For instance, you really shouldn't be calling the physician with updates as you cannot take telephone or verbal oders without a license. There's probably a lot they want you to do independently that's beyond your scope. I wouldn't bark up that tree.
  11. by   Scottishtape
    Quote from esrun77
    Okay. Well there is another RN in the facility. I take back my question, I'm sorry, I think this would qualify as somewhat of an internship type position. I'm working as an RN, but only during NOC shift and never without an RN nearby
    There is *another* RN in the facility? You're not an RN. Therefore, there is ONE RN in the facility.

    You cannot legally take orders from the docs. You can't do assessments, etc. If you're a nursing student, you should already know that.

    It seems like you came here expecting to be told what you're doing is ok. It's not. And, I think you know that.

    You say you're working "as an RN". Let's be very clear: working as an RN without a valid nursing license is illegal.
  12. by   Wuzzie
    You're not "working as an RN" you're working as an unlicensed assistive personnel (nurse tech which is a fancy term for an aide) waaaayy outside of your scope of practice because, yes, you DO have one regardless of what you think. This is not an "internship" of any sort and the only reason other techs were doing it before you got there is because the facility hadn't gotten caught yet. Mark my words, if they do get caught while you're employed there and doing what you are currently doing you can kiss your hopes of being an actual nurse goodbye.
  13. by   esrun77
    Yikes. Either I trusted my facility too much, or I'm missing something. Thanks for the advice everyone. I'll have to talk to the RNs and everyone else here to see what's going on.
  14. by   esrun77
    One last question though--if there is one RN plus me in the facility, can I complete RN duties under her guidance? I am certified with medications, as well as certified as a CNA.

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