Who can legally supervise an RN

  1. I have found several discussions that cover LPN's supervising RN's but none of the articles quite fit my situation. I work at an ASC that has experienced a huge turnover and has not replaced the employees sufficiently. Recently the scrub tech was named as the "OR Manager" and was announced to the staff as being responsible for "everyone" including the RN's when the DON is not present. I have no issue with who is in charge and what degree this person may or may not have, my concern lies in the legality of who is in charge. Besides the RN's obvious liability for the patient's, does this place our RN's in a legal dilemma?
  2. Visit GastroRN profile page

    About GastroRN

    Joined: Jun '12; Posts: 3; Likes: 1
    GI-ASC; from US


  3. by   JZ_RN
    I am not sure what the law is but when I am being "supervised"for things involving tasks LPNS cannot even do where I work, I don't appreciate the LPN managers telling me how to do my job, please get certified to do the job before you talk to me about it.

    I have great respect for LPNs but I don't feel an LPN should manage/oversee/supervise the work of RNs. Most situations they know what's going on but as far as telling me my care plan wasn't complete? In the state I went to school in the LPN cannot even sign the care plan, let alone formulate it.

    Just makes me annoyed.

    *** Bring on the hate from LPNs even though I appreciate and love them, they are intelligent hard workers, and I respect them greatly. I just don't think LPNs should supervise RNs period. Where I worked they hired LPNs as management cause RNs never stayed and they could pay them less.
  4. by   GastroRN
    I hear ya, I respect LPN's myself it just seems if I am going to have a supervisor I would like for that person to be someone that I can go to for advice about my job that he or she may have had experience and knows the legality behind it. In my case this supervisor is a scrub tech.... I just don't feel as though I could go to this person if I had a question other than 'can I leave early?"
  5. by   Esme12
    They can supervise you but they can't govern your practice. They can supervise hospital general policies for attendence and scheduleing but they have no jurisdiction over the practice of the RN. The are not allowed to delegagte RN duties. But it depends on your state. Here is an example where they can't...

  6. by   TheCommuter
    Simply put, LPNs are legally allowed to supervise RNs in an administrative capacity.

    LPNs are not, however, legally allowed to supervise RNs in a clinical capacity.
  7. by   minnymi
    A RN has to be charge where I work. Maybe it's different by state....I don't know. I would be concerned about the legality also.

    I wasn't even allowed to be precepted by a LPN when I was a student. Even as a student nurse, the things I could do had to be "under the supervision of a RN," so some of the LPNs would get annoyed when I could start an IV or do blood sugar checks for the RNs, but not for them.
  8. by   ♪♫ in my ♥
    As usual, TheCommuter has hit the nail on the head.

    It depends on what is meant by "supervision." Anybody can provide administrative supervision; only a trained, qualified, and licensed person may provide clinical supervision.

    An RN would not be qualified to clinically supervise a scrub tech unless the nurse were himself/herself qualified to perform those tasks (a scrub nurse or RNFA, for example).
  9. by   GastroRN
    Much thanks to all of you! It's hard enough to be brand new trying to apply all of the book knowledge to practice when this curve ball is thrown at me. I contacted my board and their advice was to contact my local health dept. specifically the dept that oversees ASC's. Ugh!