Published Mar 16, 2018
Hello I have a question. I am currently an L.V.N in California, I used to be a nursing assistant but I let my c.n.a expire. I currently work in a LTC facility that is severely challenged of c.n.a hours. My employer is informing all the nurses it is mandatory for us as nurses to work as a c.n.a IF hours for c.n.a staffing is not met. Is this legal? Can my employer legally make nurses work as a c.n.a?
CA took away the CNA certificates from all licensed nurses in 1994. And yes, it is legal to force a nurse to work in a CNA slot due to staffing issues. Should not be an issue because CNA duties fall within the scope of practice of licensed nurses and employers will (almost always) be paying your nurse rate of pay. You must be aware that as an LVN, you are held to the standards of the LVN license. You can not walk into a room and see that something is wrong with a resident and just go about changing their brief and leaving the room. You are required to report the situation to the licensed nurse caring for that resident. You are required to take other actions as necessary, what a licensed nurse would do in that situation. This statement does not in any way mean that you are supposed to be doing both the nurse's job and the CNA's job on any one assignment, just that you can't let things go like some CNA's might be inclined to do, thinking, "that's not my responsibility".
I have done this many times while working in LTC. As stated, CNA duties fall WELL WITHIN the nursing scope of practice. Your first couple of weeks of nursing school are teaching the basic duties of a nurse.... which are the CNA duties.
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