Forced from RN to MA question

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by Jeannette Jeannette (New) New Nurse

Specializes in Psych. Has 25 years experience.

I am curious if anyone has been forced as an RN to be the only MA with no training or schooling for it. I have been in psych for years and now I am in a dermatology office with a few month of experience in it. The manager refuses to train me but is mandating that I do the MA job. I dont even know how.

Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development. Has 17 years experience. 5 Articles; 11,093 Posts

Generally, those things that fall under the role of unlicensed personnel are also within the scope of practice of a nurse.

If you are not receiving the training to do the job you are hired for, then I'd take that as a sign to move on, unless what you are learning is actually part of your role that, when able, can be delegated to others.



Specializes in Psych. Has 25 years experience. 7 Posts

Thank you. I am in charge of the biologics at this derm office. Because an MA quit they want me to fill in. I asked manager when she will hire another MA she replied no time soon. If I was trained how to do what the MA does it would be fine, but they just want me to jump in and do it with no one but me to just figure it out. I stressed the aspect of training with the manager and she blew me off. Yes I know I need to move on but the RN job pool is horrific here and I cant find anything.

Sour Lemon

Has 12 years experience. 5,016 Posts

I don't see that you are forced "from RN to MA". Sounds more like "other duties as assigned" which is a standard part of 99.9% of all job descriptions.

I agree that if you're not getting the training you need, you should consider moving on. If you don't have better options at the moment, it might be in your best interest to play nice and be cooperative until you do.


38,333 Posts

If the job pool is horrific there, then perhaps you should step back and concentrate on doing what you can, without stressing yourself out, until you do find something. Meanwhile, treat each paycheck as if it were your last pot of gold. Lots of people have positions that are not challenging in the least and they just plug away. Check spends the same as if you were working on the next Pulitzer Prize.


Nunya, BSN

Specializes in NICU/Mother-Baby/Peds/Mgmt. Has 40 years experience. 771 Posts

I would just keep asking the manager how to do things, and mention that you weren't trained on how to do it. Of course you'll only be able to ask once for each thing. I would also keep meticulous (read anal) documentation on what you're asked to do, when you asked manager for direction, what she said and HOW she said it (including non verbal behavior like eyerolling, excessive sighing etc). That way you'll have a leg to stand on if she fires you, and have documentation to take to a lawyer. Does she have a supervisor you can talk to?


Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 9 years experience. 1 Article; 2,672 Posts

They can ask you to do MA tasks providing you are trained to do them. But that alone doesn't make you an MA. You remain an RN and should be paid as such. MAs bear a protected title just like RNs and they go under Medical, not Nursing, Board.

When in a hospital an RN gets, for an example, a sitter shift - a work normally performed by CNA - the RN still remains RN and receives salary of RN, not one of CNA.

Overall, if you are fine with doing "all other duties as assigned" for a while AND gonna to be paid the same as before (make sure about the latter), go for it. There are nursing jobs too which are not challenging and downright boring and there are nurses who do them - some just pulling days, some even liking them and wondering how running 12 h straight like a chicken with its head just cut off could ever be tolerated by a human being. You can always learn something interesting or useful for your future. But make sure that tgey continue to pay you your RN money.

Edited by KatieMI



Specializes in Psych. Has 25 years experience. 7 Posts

The manager came over to me as I was speaking to someone, blatantly said to me did anyone teach you the medications and h/p. I said why she said that's not the question, so I said no. She said well we have an MA coming in at 1pm she can show you. Well she never came in. Also they hired me as an RN to do the biologics, this is a dermatology office. I've always worked in psychiatry. Manager was aware of this. I am disappointed as well as disrespected by the manager on a daily basis. I feel horrible about myself due to this. Also there is no teaching done there, very negative work environment. I told her I had to teach myself everything I know. I'm actually losing sleep over this job. My pay is very poor. Need some good advice. I was thinking of going back to school to take medical coding and billing. Also I graduated nursing school in 1997. I feel like a failure at this point.


38,333 Posts

If you are that distressed by how she treats you and your poor pay, then resign before you have a new job lined up. But don't forget, the next job, when and if it comes along, may be even worse. Yes, there are worse work situations out there. You just haven't found one yet. Dump the idea about billing and coding. Those jobs are outsourced. Another debt hanging over your bank account is not going to help you out when you find out that there truly are no open positions. If you graduated in 1997, then your 'career' was going nowhere for a very long time according to your own admission. Learn to put up with the status quo, or push yourself to do something to change it.



Specializes in Psych. Has 25 years experience. 7 Posts

Actually I feel that this particular job has been not going well. I have worked in psychiatry since I graduated in 2 hospitals. I really enjoyed my team. I moved 2 years ago and I'm finding it difficult to find a good fit. My career has been extremely rewarding. This particular job I was told that there would be room for growth. There is a very high turnover rate. 3 people left and I've been at this job since July 2019. Thanks for the advice.


Has 10 years experience. 1,482 Posts

I'm don't need training to be an MA. Everything an MA does is well within what an RN does.

If they want you to function as an MA? If it were me, I could care less...but they are going to pay me according to my qualifications.

You also have the same liability as an RN, doesn't matter what role you have. If you were an MA and not an RN, you would fall under the liability of the physician.

ruby_jane, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing. Has 13 years experience. 3,142 Posts

What is it exactly you don't want to do/haven't been trained up on?

Is it within your scope as a nurse?

Is your issue that this is what sounds like a chaotic environment for training?