What would you do?

  1. I am a student nurse. I m halfway through my ADN and dual enrolled for my BSN. I also completed the LPN option program so I can sit for the NCLEX-PN this summer so I can work as an LPN until I get my RN.

    I have a friend, she used to be my BFF before I moved to go to school. She has worked in healthcare for many years in administrative positions (Surgical coordinator for a dental practice, secretary in a urology clinic, etc.) She completed some pre-reqs for a nursing program, but never actually took ANY nursing classes. She IS more knowledgeable than the average layperson when it comes to health and wellness. But she has never taken Nursing classes, not even CNA classes. I love her to death. She's always been more like a sister than a friend.

    My problem is, she is claiming to be a nurse in a certain FB group. She will comment on posts saying, "Nurse here! It sounds like ABC or EFG, so you should talk to your doctor and ask them to run XYZ labs and look at TUV for blah blah blah..." Or she will give her opinion and support it with, "BTW I'm a nurse..." She even said just today, "Some people, including me (an advanced degree nurse), use blah blah blah..."

    I am REALLY annoyed by this. Like, I am feeling really angry about it. I am busting my tail in school, with NO social life, missing time with my kids to EARN my nursing degree. I've passed the LPN program, but I don't even THINK about calling myself an LPN because I have not taken the NCLEX yet! And here she is, having never taken a single NURSING class and calling herself a nurse? An "advance degree nurse?" I'm beyond irritated.

    So how can I handle this? I don't want to lose a friend, but I don't think I can tolerate this behavior. I find it very offensive and insulting to every person who has busted their butt to EARN their license. I feel like it is disrespectful to all nurses, and beyond that, what if she gives the wrong "advice" and someone gets hurt? Now there's someone who will be less trusting of REAL nurses. It's not even entirely about my feelings, it's about the damage to our profession when people who claim to be nurses, but are NOT, give bad or inappropriate advice to people.

    What would you do? Obviously I have to confront her, but I don't even know where to begin...
  2. Visit notTHATjersey profile page

    About notTHATjersey

    Joined: Jun '18; Posts: 5; Likes: 10
    from CO , US

    13 Comments

  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    You may want to tell her that it is *against the law* to impersonate a nurse. Seriously, it's illegal, and at least in theory she could wind up in trouble, especially if someone comes to harm as a result of her "advice". She needs to stop it.
  4. by   JKL33
    Quit FB. Life's so much simpler without subjecting oneself to aggravation that could easily be eliminated.

    Let the friendship go. One of life's great mysteries (to me) is how these people ever end up with loyal friends to begin with. She's a liar and at least somewhat narcissistic.

    Now's a great time to practice eliminating drama from your life. When you enter the workforce you'll want to have that skill well in hand. And, generally-speaking, you can't change others - only yourself.
  5. by   NurseSpeedy
    This is a perfect example of why nobody should seek healthcare advice online....anybody can claim to be whoever they want to be on the internet.

    And why FB is overrated. I have never used it but have seen grown adults (in their 60s) go ape nuts over things people have posted on their "wall"-whatever that's supposed to mean.
  6. by   ponymom
    Another example of Fakebook...
  7. by   caliotter3
    When you come upon one of her posts online, and there are no intervening posts, make a post immediately following it to the effect that it is illegal to impersonate a licensed nurse in most states. Nothing more, nothing less. Don't worry about whether or not you can be identified by her. Do this often enough and you may evoke a reaction.
  8. by   notTHATjersey
    You may want to tell her that it is *against the law* to impersonate a nurse. Seriously, it's illegal, and at least in theory she could wind up in trouble, especially if someone comes to harm as a result of her "advice". She needs to stop it.
    This is probably the route I am going to take. I left the group in which she was making these comments because it was really getting under my skin. I need a little distance before I approach this with her.

    The only reason I even have my FB still open is for my ADN nursing cohort and my dual-enrollement BSN cohort. We do a lot of communicating through our private FB groups when we have questions on assignments or to set up study groups, etc. I actually set up a secondary FB account just for school, but I made the mistake of adding a few "old friends" from back east that I don't ever see since I moved to attend school.

    Looks like I need to clear out that FB to just my classmates. And maybe stay off FB until classes start in August.

    *sigh*
    Last edit by notTHATjersey on Jun 20 : Reason: Clarity
  9. by   psu_213
    I would address it direct with her. Sadly, she may not react too well, but I really think it is what has to be done. If your name is part of this FB group and something bad happens to a lay person who follows her advice--well, you are probably not legally responsible, but it could reflect poorly on you if your name is associated with this group. I would not directly address her advice in this group, but you do need to point out the issues (i.e., illegality) with her actions.
  10. by   lrobinson5
    I think if you word it in a way that shows your concern for her she MIGHT take it better. I think the type of person that pretends to be a nurse is probably one that will get really annoyed by someone calling them out on it, regardless of how nice you come across. Good luck
  11. by   notTHATjersey
    Quote from psu_213
    I would address it direct with her. Sadly, she may not react too well, but I really think it is what has to be done. If your name is part of this FB group and something bad happens to a lay person who follows her advice--well, you are probably not legally responsible, but it could reflect poorly on you if your name is associated with this group. I would not directly address her advice in this group, but you do need to point out the issues (i.e., illegality) with her actions.
    Fortunately I have not commented or posted in the group. I was going to leave the group anyway, but her claims of being a nurse made it all that much easier to leave.

    As for her motivations to call herself a nurse, I honestly think she's just feeling unfulfilled. She worked in healthcare for nearly a decade and has a mind for research. She would probably make a great nurse if she went to school for it. I know she wanted to for a long time. I think she just regrets not going and is making up for it by creating this online fantasy.
  12. by   BeccaPax
    I'd probably just get off FB (which I did several years ago and never looked back!) and ignore the comment. Honestly, it's not wise to accept medical advice from social media, FB or otherwise. Hopefully no one listens to her.
  13. by   TriciaJ
    Quote from notTHATjersey
    Fortunately I have not commented or posted in the group. I was going to leave the group anyway, but her claims of being a nurse made it all that much easier to leave.

    As for her motivations to call herself a nurse, I honestly think she's just feeling unfulfilled. She worked in healthcare for nearly a decade and has a mind for research. She would probably make a great nurse if she went to school for it. I know she wanted to for a long time. I think she just regrets not going and is making up for it by creating this online fantasy.
    Unless your friend is 85 years old she could probably still get into nursing school if she really wanted to. You might let her know that if she ever decided to do that, an online record of her impersonating a nurse might hurt her chances to get into nursing or any other profession. She is breaking the law. Tell her that now you know this, you would hate to see bad things happen to her as a result.
  14. by   KlineRN
    YOU keep doing your thing, get good grades, get your LPN, RN, and be able to support yourself for the rest of your life without any financial help from anybody. It will pay off. I just retired after 30 years and I am 53.

    As for your BFF, a lot of folks show their narcissistic traits on social media and pretend to be something they are not. But you may need to distance yourself, blame it on school. If she would illegally present herself as a licensed Nurse online, what else is she capable of. Basically, she is a liar. It would be great if you could talk to her but indirectly-say an article about someone else who got busted for claiming Nursehood. Just casually show your friend this article. Your mind= blown

    Best of Luck to you !!!

    NC nursing board scolds Republican Beverly Boswell for claiming to be a nurse. | News & Observer

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