Quote from Nroh
We were told that we still needed to clock out for break on the days that we work by ourselves but we would still be responsible for the floor if something happened. Is that ok?
I think you're trying to find out if it is legal and/or if it is the usual practice.
The right question (which only you can answer for yourself) is whether or not you accept those terms.
I would not.
I don't accept terms where part of someone's business model is to require me to stay around (in the break area, on the premises, whatever) retaining full responsibility as an on-duty nurse, without being paid. Look at it this way - we all know that the thing that seems right and ethical and safe is for you to stay in proximity as a matter of safety for the patients. Your employer refuses to pay you for that. They have to be able to show that they are giving breaks according to the law, so what they have chosen to do is make it look like you're getting your break while scaring you into not taking your break.
The other side to this which I can't answer is whether you actually can be held legally responsible as a licensed on-duty nurse while not on the clock. If they are required to have a licensed nurse on duty (which I assume they are or I can't imagine them ever staffing the place with licensed nurses) - do they meet that obligation by not having anyone
actually clocked in during certain times? Could you ever be accused of abandonment (by say, a family) for having appeared to leave/go off duty with no one to replace you? Again, I don't know. But I wouldn't trust these employers to care.
Hope you are able to figure out a solution ~