Calling staff "nurses" who aren't nurses!!

Nurses General Nursing


You are reading page 4 of Calling staff "nurses" who aren't nurses!!


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Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.



I was not referring to anything about the Nurse Practice Act. Please consult a collegiate dictionary and read the definition of "vernacular" so you will understand what I meant. The word vernacular was meant as in "idiom", or as an accepted phrase or word within the common language of the people. Among those who work in the profession and are licensed, the meaning of nurse has one meaning. The general lay public tends to use the word "nurse" in a more broad sense.

I challenge you to look at your nurse practice act find where it says that just the act of calling someone "nurse" is illegal. This is the point I was making.

A physician can have anyone under his direct supervision perform tasks as long as he has given them instruction in how to do them. That has always been so. Hospitals don't permit it for liability reasons. However, MAs, doctor's family members, and just about anyone a doctor hires on to work in their offices have been doing nursing tasks for years under the doctor's direct supervision. The ANA doesn't like it, but there's nothing they can do about it.

VERNACULARS have no place in the medical setting at all. People deserve to know WHO is taking care of them. If a person rendering advice or care is not a licensed nurse, she must not address herself as such nor may her employer. And the issue of scope of practice needs to be addressed and adhered to strictly.

Thanks for the thoughtful post, but I stand by what I said originally. I know what Webster's Dictionary's multiple entries say about the word "nurse". I am talking about misuse of vernacular terms in a setting where it is in appropriate and misleading and even potentially dangerous.......

No one should use the term "nurse" lightly IN THE MEDICAL SETTING, whether it be a doctors/dentist's office or hospital or LTC areas. Vernacular terms have no place there. If the person is an aide, he/she needs to say that is what he/she is and see to it he/she practices strictly within his/her scope........and so must the physician employing that person!

Daytonite, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

For those of us licensed in California, law AB 1439 requires all health care practitioners to disclose, while working, the practitioner's status and area of specialty on a name tag.

In the winter of 1999 the California Board of Registered Nursing issued a Position Statement on law AB 1439 stating that it "requires health care practitioners to wear a name tag while working that discloses their name and practitioner license status in at least 18-point type. In psychiatric settings or in settings not licensed by the state, employers have the discretion to not require name tags if there are individual safety or therapeutic concerns. Also, if the practitioner's license is prominently displayed in a practice or an office, nametags are not required. The Board (of Registered Nursing) supported this legislation as a means to prevent confusion for consumers."

Laws like this get passed because the profession can't agree on how to enforce such a policy. The only reference the California Nursing Practice Act makes to the use of the title "nurse" in Title 16, Division 14 is when it is being used as a title.

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