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Are You Really a Nurse?

Nurses Article   (50,183 Views 129 Comments 935 Words)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and works as a Nursing Professional Development Specialist.

333 Likes; 10 Followers; 81 Articles; 224,731 Visitors; 1,685 Posts

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Who should be allowed to call themselves a nurse? Is it important to protect the title or is it no big deal? You are reading page 11 of Are You Really a Nurse?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

Take this short true / false poll to test your knowledge. Select all that are TRUE.

  1. 1. Take this short true / false poll to test your knowledge. Select all that are TRUE.

    • Nursing Assistants are licensed
      31
    • Medical Assistants are nurses because they can give injections
      0
    • Office Staff who assist doctors in their practice are nurses
      0
    • Graduates of approved nursing schools are nurses
      81
    • All of the above are true
      1
    • All of the above are false
      252

349 members have participated

1,184 Visitors; 76 Posts

I totally agree with this. I have corrected my own doctor when he refers to his MA as a nurse. I worked hard and it took 5 years of education for me to earn the right to call myself "nurse". People also do not know that you have to maintain high standards in your personal life as well in order to maintain your license. I think we owe it to ourselves and our fellow Nurses to defend the title. MDs do not refer to their PAs as doctors, or even as colleagues. They refer to them as their PA.

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709 Visitors; 4 Posts

I have been a licensed nurse since 1979, first as an LPN and an RN since 1982. That being said, I think getting upset over something like a CNA being called "nurse" is a little silly. As long as the unlicensed person does not attempt to act in the role of the nurse, I have no issue. Honestly, I believe we should be focused on meeting the needs of the patients in our care. They don't care what we are. They do care if we can help them in their time of need.

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394 Visitors; 9 Posts

Earlier this year there was a story with photos circulating on facebook about two medics who were very unprofessional with a newborn baby in the hospital they worked at. I posted the comment, "They are medics not nurses". I had a couple medics take me to task saying all the things they can do in a combat setting. I know what they can do, my son is a medic in the Army. But he cannot call himself a nurse, he is not a nurse and he cannot practice as a nurse outside the military setting. I worked hard to get my LPN and was not belittling the work combat medics do... but they are still not a nurse. While my youngest was in school, I had to pick her up and drop off some papers in the office. I overheard the women talking about the "nurse" who had to put a bandaid on her cut she got while in school. I asked the them, if she was an LPN or RN, was looking to change jobs, and was told she was a CNA. I told them, you cannot call her a nurse. You are misrepresenting her as someone who has education that a CNA doesn't have to have to get their certificate. They got offended, until I told them it is illegal for a person who is not a nurse to say they are. SMH.

I cringe when CNA's talk about their license... it is not a license it is a certificate, bit difference. Maybe I am wrong. Or maybe it is time that people who are not nurses stop telling people they are.

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redopal works as a retired ER RN.

443 Visitors; 6 Posts

I will always consider myself a nurse even though I am now retired. I initially graduated from a diploma school in 1971 then returned to school in 1990 for my BSN. The time was so far between my programs I had to repeat all my sciences and a lot of other courses to graduate. Proudest thing I ever did!

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Orion81RN has 5 years experience.

5 Likes; 7,147 Visitors; 632 Posts

My exact title and patient/family understanding of my role & scope of practice as an RN directly affects my work.

I'm taking a break from bedside and am currently doing private duty. The mother of my last case did not allow me to practice to the fullest extent of my license. To her, I was a babysitter. She didn't let us nurses use the cough assist machine which my pt desperately needed, prime the line for G-tube feedings let alone change the G-tube/Mic key button, call in prescription refills, use any clinical judgement (to her, it was not our place to do so,) and so on and so on.

I was sticking it out til I found another case. Then one day, a few weeks ago, the mom decided to hold her feeding for the day and give Pedialyte. Ok, no problem. I called to obtain the order to write it down as is my job. Because obviously I can't hold anything or give anything I don't have an order for. I was waiting for the call back when the mom stormed into the room and reamed me out big time. I had just missed the call from the nurse from the dr office. So the nurse apparently then called the mom. The mom yelled at me saying I am NOT to speak with any nurse, doctor, any provider about her daughter.

Now, before she used our services, she had been paying a non-licensed caregiver to care for her daughter. So it is EXTREMELY important that the general public has some idea of the difference between a nurse and a CNA or MA. To this bat-nuts crazy woman, my calling to obtain the official order was akin to a babysitter calling her daughter's doctor.

I finished my shift and obviously didn't return. She didn't even let us nurses know when her daughter had doctor's appointments.

It has nothing to do with ego on my part. I simply want people to understand that I don't just blindly follow doctor's orders. That I'm licensed to do much more than administer meds and change diapers. Not for ego, but to DO MY JOB. From now on when I go meet a family for a potential case, I'm specifically asking the parents what their expectations are of their nurses when it comes to care. If they say, oh just suction, give meds and change diapers, that will be a red flag to me to question further what they would allow me to do.

Edited by Orion81RN
Typo

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17 Visitors; 1 Post

I worked in a specialty office and overheard the MAs introduce themselves to patients as nurses over and over and over. When I reported it to our supervisor, I was told it would be addressed BUT NEVER WAS. IT IS FRAUD AND ILLEGAL. I am a RN with a BSN and worked my ass off to achieve my license and degrees. I would never even consider introducing myself to patients as a PA, NP or DR. I left the position. The utter disrespect for the nursing profession was evident in so many ways there.

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587 Visitors; 3 Posts

I really like this article. I have been in the medical holding different titles for over 18 years. Every time achieved a different title I was very proud of myself but I would also correct people when they would call me the wrong title. I first started as an EMT then I became an CNA/GNA. While working in the hospital as a CNA/GNA some people would call me a nurse but I would quickly correct them. Currently I am an LPN and I just got accepted to the LPN to RN program I am excited and scared at the same time. But the one thing I hate more than anything is when anyone tells me "you're JUST an LPN" I never claimed to be anything higher than what I have achieved but I am not just an LPN. I AM a nurse and proud of it and when I get my RN I am going to be proud of that. What i want people to also learn from this is that people shouldn't claim to be what you're not but people shouldn't degrade what people have achieved.

Kelly

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Paws2people has 13 years experience and works as a PCT.

1 Like; 14,487 Visitors; 495 Posts

A nurse in my mind follows this path: Go to nursing school, graduate, take NCLEX, pass, receive license, get job.

Once you pass the NCLEX and get a license, you are a nurse.

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PNCC2001 has 15 years experience and works as a Perinatal Health Monitrice, Case Manager, Licensed.

3,423 Visitors; 113 Posts

You need to read the Wisconsin Statutes again. "'Nurse' without amplification means only a Registered Nurse". 'Licensed Practical' Nurse is an amplification. Wound Care Nurse is an amplification, etc. It does not say that only RNs are nurses. But you are right, that each state's licensing board has their own regulations and they are not standard across the U.S.

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