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LPN Refused Assignment as a CNA

Nurse Beth   (811 Views 9 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

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Dear Nurse Beth,

I'm an LPN for 10 yrs. Work at nursing home, same assignment for 2yrs. Recently went to work and saw my name under CNA assignment. Was told that they were short down one CNA. Nobody asked me. I refused. Was I wrong?

Dear Refused,

You've worked there 2 yrs. without this happening before, so it's understandable you'd be unhappy when you show up and your assignment is changed to that of a CNA.  It would have been smart of them to pull you aside and explain what's going on.

As an LPN, you are considered to be trained to do everything a CNA can do. There is nothing to prevent your employer to assign you where and how best needed, including serving as a CNA.

Refusing an assignment without a valid patient safety reason can put your job in jeopardy and can be considered unprofessional. In the end, teamwork is important. 

Best wishes, 

Nurse Beth

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

 

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Also, “and other duties as assigned”, typically the last item in most job descriptions. When you don’t cooperate with your employer, you can not be surprised when there are negative consequences.

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CardiacDork has 5 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in ICU.

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The only thing that I wondering about is that as a CNA, I’d imagine you’re responsible for a greater amount of patients. So I can just imagine more than a handful of possible scenarios where you’re accused of malpractice or violating the nursing practice acts, because say you did not properly document or notify someone of a change in condition - of which you may have been or not been ware of as a Change v. Baseline. Are you going to spend the night taking vitals, doing hygiene care, comfort care, AND be expected to possibly act within the capacity of an LPN for every patient? Sounds like a sticky situation to me. 

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Snatchedwig has 11 years experience as a ADN, CNA, LPN, RN and specializes in Medsurg.

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I would write you up or most likely fire you. Everything a CNA does a nurse can. I love working as a CNA because I get to go home on time 😍. We got in this business to care for patients not our egos. 

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2 hours ago, Snatchedwig said:

I would write you up or most likely fire you. Everything a CNA does a nurse can. I love working as a CNA because I get to go home on time 😍. We got in this business to care for patients not our egos. 

What excellent leadership material

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6 hours ago, Snatchedwig said:

I would write you up or most likely fire you. Everything a CNA does a nurse can. I love working as a CNA because I get to go home on time 😍. We got in this business to care for patients not our egos. 

Plus the VA does this to RNs too. They always hire more RN/LPNs than CNAs just for this very reason and if they're short a nurse, they're already staffed.

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Snatchedwig has 11 years experience as a ADN, CNA, LPN, RN and specializes in Medsurg.

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9 hours ago, Jkloo said:

What excellent leadership material

Didn't know I was appointed allnurses CEO or charge nurse.  You paying my benefits? 

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kbrn2002 has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Geriatrics.

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While it would have been nice to get a "head's up, we're pulling you to work as an aid"  it doesn't mean they had to let you know in advance.  It could've been and probably was a last minute decision to pull you when they couldn't fill the shift any other way.  After all, facilities don't want to make a habit of paying a nurse to do the CNA job, it's not a cost effective option.  

While it's probably not a good time to get put in a job you are not used to doing every day nothing says you can't do it.  Any nurse is qualified to do a CNA's job. Depending on the culture where you work I wouldn't be at all surprised if there were repercussions for flat out refusing to do it and if there is any kind of discipline for refusing the job assignment it would be deserved.

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Yes nurses are qualified to work as a CNA  yet you are held to the license you carry so basically you are functioning as a nurse doing patient care.  Most places do not want to pay a nurse to only do CNA work. I've done it and I can't say that I didn't like it but it was hard just reporting things and not taking care of them...

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