New RN, working as a Tech


Hi all,

I am a newly licensed RN in Ohio. I graduated from a four year university with my BSN. I currently work in a community hospital as a Patient Care Tech/Nurse Aide, where I have been for nearly two years. After passing my boards, my manager told me that I need to continue working as a tech. They said perhaps in eight weeks there will be an RN position for me.

-Is this legal? Can I work under my license? And if so, are they able to pay me at tech rate or should I be being paid RN rate?

-They want to enroll me in RN classes while I wait for a position. Is this ok, and again, what rate should I be paid at these classes?

-Do you think its worth wasting 8 weeks waiting for a position that may not actually be available? The manager specifically said "no promises are being made here." This is after I was recommended for an ICU position, but they were uncomfortable taking a new grad.

I keep hearing rumors that you can only work under your qualifications for eight weeks, and I feel that they are trying to get every last minute of tech time out of me, which I feel is completely unfair. I've worked very hard to be an RN and have shown them nothing but loyalty and hard work.

I did put in a message at my BON to find out the laws but I don't know how long it will take for a response. Any info would be appreciated,



71 Posts

Have you sought out jobs elsewhere in your area? They might move a little faster in offering you an RN job if they have competition. I dont doubt that they are dragging their feet with paying you at RN scale...Id question if I wanted to continue to work for such a place.

Good Luck!

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

I'm sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time starting your career as an RN but I do commend your loyalty to your employer. Your post has several questions -

Re: salary - your employer pays you according to the job your are currently filling and that is a Tech. Each type of job has a salary range attached to it, and I would imagine that the difference between the Tech range and the RN range is significant, so I understand your frustration. If your manager is expecting you to function as an RN but paying you only as a Tech, you need to put a stop to that situation ASAP.

Re: RN working in an 'unlicensed' position. Each of us has a duty to perform according to our nurse practice laws and regulations no matter what our employer says we are supposed to do. I have never heard of a specific time frame involved - certainly not in my state. There is no 'grace period in which an RN is not expected to abide by licensure expectations.

Remember, you can always get another job, but getting another license is (if you lose yours) is probably not going to happen. Check with your state board for specifics, but in most states, you are held accountable for performing to the scope of your licensure. This puts you in a very sticky place. If (as a tech) you encounter a patient situation such as a disconnected IV, leaking blood all over the place... you MUST react as an RN is supposed to, even though it is outside the bounds of your job. If something goes wrong, you employer will not back you up because you were not employed as an RN.

I hope things work out for you soon.


2 Posts

rmtocc---I have applied elsewhere, but it was before I had an NCLEX date. I am working on following up at this point now that I am licensed and hope it may speed some things up. The funny part is that my work is saying there isn't a position available, yet they are short staffed in every department and we have a slew of travel and agency niurses. I am sure it is a budget thing but I just think it seems silly.

HouTx---thanks for all your help. I am just very suspicious with the problems I am encountering and I appreciate the input. I am concerned about the sticky situations, but talking to my friends at other facilities, I am actually in a good place. My facility's policy must be that I can only work for 8 weeks after licensure. However, my friends were immediately terminated as techs after passing boards. So they're still waiting on RN offers from their places of emplyoment.

Thanks so much!