Can an MA legally supervise BSNs and RNs?

  1. I'm a BSN RN in Illinois at a 5 physician family practice. The doctor in charge of the practice just named an MA as the "Nurse Manager"? Is this legal? Recourse?
  2. Visit mkol profile page

    About mkol

    Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 3; Likes: 1


  3. by   gardenvarietyRN
    It would be wise for the MA to consider his/her scope of practice in accepting this title. He/she should consult the American Association of Medical Assistants. This article may help. Archived Public Affairs Articles :: AAMA - The American Association of Medical Assistants
    It cites the Illinois Nurse Practice Act which basically says anyone who is not a nurse should not “use any title, sign, card or device to indicate that such a person is practicing professional or practical nursing unless such person has been licensed” to be one and can face a large fine.

    Even if this is solely an administrative title, it gives the general public that this person is an RN. Even though MD’s can delegate many things to MAs, the family practice group should consider the liabilities on their organization of giving a MA a title that implies that he/she is a nurse. As for yourself, consult the Board of Nursing in Illinois on how to protect yourself while you while this is being sorted out. Please post the outcome, I am interested in learning what happens.
  4. by   SuesquatchRN
    The BSN has nothing to do with anything. You can have a BSN and flunk the boards. But the MA is not a nurse anything. She can be a manager of nurses, but not a nurse manager. Her management cannot comprise any clinical practice matters.
  5. by   caliotter3
    Office manager would be an appropriate title, nurse manager is not. The doctor should know better.
  6. by   mkol
    Thanks SuequatchRN. Re-read the post and you'll see that it says "BSN RN" not just "BSN".
    Last edit by mkol on Jan 4, '12 : Reason: Left out poster's name
  7. by   caliotter3
    Sue is referring to the use of "and" in the title of the thread. It is not BSN and RN. BSN is only a degree held by some RNs, it is not in the same category as RN, as suggested by the title. I interpreted the title the same way Suesquatch did.
  8. by   ProgressiveActivist
    The title was can a MA legally supervise a registered nurse? Interesting question. She should call her state's BON and ask:

    Is it legal for an MA to be given the title of nurse manager and to supervise RNs in a doctor's office?

    Nurse and Doctor are protected titles in my state and it is a felony to misrepresent yourself as either one without the diploma or degree.

    She could also write to a nurse attorney like "Ask Donna" at Nursing Spectrum. Sounds like a poorly run office and not somewhere that I would want to work.
  9. by   Quickbeam
    I think it is all about titles. My boss is a non-nurse and she can supervise me just fine. She has expertise that I need and I provide the nursing knowledge. I think she is a "managed care manager". She'd never call herself a nurse or nurse manager because that isn't accurate.

    No one should call themselves a nurse anything if they aren't.
  10. by   psu_213
    One can certainly be a manager and supervise nurses without ever having taking a nursing class in one's life. The question is, is it legal for that person to be called a nurse manager rather than office manager, staff manager, etc? I don't know the answer to that, but I tend to think that title is OK if that person does not perform any of the duties that are specifically, by law, only to be performed by nurses. Then again, I think the doctor would be best off coming up with a new title for the position.
  11. by   ProgressiveActivist
    No disrespect intended to all the great medical office managers who have the huge responsibility of managing all the records, schedules, insurance and keeping the medical staff on task.
  12. by   Elleveein
    I'm an LVN my boss is a Medical asst. her title is "Nurse Supervisor".
  13. by   OCNRN63
    Funny how you'd never see an MA in a supervisory position over physicians.
  14. by   TheCommuter
    The MA can legally supervise licensed nurses in an administrative capacity. The MA cannot supervise licensed nurses in a clinical capacity.

    Therefore, 'nurse manager' is a grossly inappropriate title for the MA.