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Can RN Work as CNA?

Nurse Beth   (521 Views 1 Comments)
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.

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Dear Nurse Beth,

I am licensed in Arkansas as a registered nurse. Now I am in California, waiting for my license, can I work as a cna or lvn even if I am not certified nurse assistant, or licensed vocational nurse? I need a job and I want to work in a medical field.

Dear Need a Job,

This legal, and subject to the individual facility's policy. Many facilities will hire RNS or nursing students who have completed first semester to work as a CNA.

The only possible problem is that when you work as a CNA, you are limited to tasks that are delegated to you by the RN. So you would not want to turn off an IV alarm, for example.

Theoretically, as an RN working as a CNA, you could be held to the standard of care of an RN in an emergent situation. I say theoretically because I'm not aware of any cases, but it's important to be mindful of the higher standard.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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