View Full Version : misrepresenting oneself as nurse


jmwquilter
11-08-2007, 07:22 PM
I may be overly sensitive, so tell me what you think. My sister in law, who attended an 8 week medical assistant course tells everyone she is a nurse. This includes presenting herself at public hearings and in class reunion books as a 30 year experienced OB/Gyn nurse. She has no nursing license. Having myself been through a grueling BSN program, taken the NCLEX and got my license - I resent her saying that she is a nurse. I don't know what they think she is at her job at doctors office in Virginia. I can hardly speak to her anymore. What do you think?

MyOwnWoman
11-08-2007, 08:52 PM
It's against the law to represent yourself as a nurse. (PERIOD)

geenaRN
11-08-2007, 11:06 PM
Have you talked to her about this?

Ah I just love how one can call themselves a nurse after an 8 week course. :motz:

Gretchen
11-08-2007, 11:39 PM
I may be overly sensitive, so tell me what you think. My sister in law, who attended an 8 week medical assistant course tells everyone she is a nurse. This includes presenting herself at public hearings and in class reunion books as a 30 year experienced OB/Gyn nurse. She has no nursing license. Having myself been through a grueling BSN program, taken the NCLEX and got my license - I resent her saying that she is a nurse. I don't know what they think she is at her job at doctors office in Virginia. I can hardly speak to her anymore. What do you think?

In most states, it is a felony to represent oneself as a nurse. You could notify the state board, and they will take it from there and leave you out of it. As it stands, you may be jeopardizing your own license, since you are aware of her behavior. You could be charged with failure to protect the public. Time for a stern talk. With a lawyer.

Good luck

Mother Jones, RN
11-09-2007, 12:38 AM
I don’t think that it is illegal to say you are a nurse unless you are trying to get a job as an RN. I wouldn’t go to jail for claiming to be the Queen of Great Britain, but they would take me away in hand cuffs I tried wearing the Crown Jewels. I think that your sister-in-law has low self-esteem, and that’s why she is claiming to be a nurse. I don’t think her behavior is appropriate, and I think that it’s a sign of that she has deeper issues.

Julie
11-09-2007, 03:04 AM
I wonder why she insists on doing this and why if she wants to be a nurses,as she so obviously does she hasn't completed the necessary training. However, if patients are being put at risk because someone who is treating them isn't appropriately qualified then as a nurse yourself I would say you have a duty to do something. It is very difficult though if you don't live near her and aren't close to her in other ways.

MyOwnWoman
11-09-2007, 08:30 PM
Mother Jones, you are always the voice of reason. You're right, it's probably not "illegal," in the legal sence of the word. Your interpretation is probably more accurate...she just wants to be something or somebody she's not.

Gretchen
11-13-2007, 02:57 AM
I don’t think that it is illegal to say you are a nurse unless you are trying to get a job as an RN. I wouldn’t go to jail for claiming to be the Queen of Great Britain, but they would take me away in hand cuffs I tried wearing the Crown Jewels. I think that your sister-in-law has low self-esteem, and that’s why she is claiming to be a nurse. I don’t think her behavior is appropriate, and I think that it’s a sign of that she has deeper issues.

Sorry. I misunderstood the reference to public hearings to mean that she was representing herself as a nurse to patients.

Mrs.Rollins
11-14-2007, 03:13 PM
There is always the possibility, however, that she is misrepresenting herself at her place of employment. I know from experience that many physician's offices do not verify licensures or check with state boards. It's a slim chance, I suppose, but it is possible.

I never knew until I started nursing school how much you could resent a person for misrepresenting themselves. I have run across a few people since then who claim to be nurses and are not, and it's absolutely infuriating. Especially because most of them were idiots, and it made the rest of us look bad.

P/J
11-15-2007, 04:29 AM
Deep breaths please nurses.:ridinghorse:

I agree with Mother Jones, RN (as mother is always right). In Australia we have a number is divisions of nurses, 1,2,3,4. Div1 are RNs (BN or BNSci), Div2 are EN (18month course and practice under an RN at all times), Div3+4 are being phased out (psych nurses which are now RNs and midwives also now RNs both with additional endorsments). Other to this we have PCAs (Personal Care Attendants) who are un-registered and un-regulated. They are not allowed to handle patients in hospitals without the nurse initiating it, but they work in a lot of the nursing homes independently, and are not responsible or accountable for many of their actions. They are not particularly liked by nurses, but they do a lot of the grunt work of nurses (most of the beds, uncomplicated patient feeding):banghead:.

If she wants to say that she is a nurse let her, but eventually someone will ask about her qualifications and if she says that she is an RN that is misrepresentation. If places of employment are not checking qualifications, it is on their heads when the law suits come in, as the 'so called nurse' may not be seen to be responsible or accountable for their actions :tomato:.

I suggest re-enforce your qualifications when talking to people around her, rather than just a nurse, say that you are a registered nurse with a BNSci.

PixelRN
11-15-2007, 07:53 AM
1 a: a woman who suckles an infant not her own : wet nurse
b: a woman who takes care of a young child : dry nurse

2: one that looks after, fosters, or advises

3: a person who cares for the sick or infirm; specifically : a licensed health-care professional who practices independently or is supervised by a physician, surgeon, or dentist and who is skilled in promoting and maintaining health

Isn't it strange that the first definition refers to wet nurses?
And if you go by the second definition a person who is say, a nanny or a babysitter could claim they are a nurse.

Semantics are a peculiar study.

:hmmmm:

jojodow
11-16-2007, 11:43 AM
I've heard of MAs (medical assistants) and CNAs (Certified Nursing assistants) actually being trained and allowed to do Nursing duties in clinics and Hospitals. The loophole being they work under the Doctor in charge.
They shouldn't be allowed to do this but it happens. I don't know if that applies to your family member but it's not illegal unless she offers up her skills as a "Nurse" to a "patient".

It's insulting and annoying to us Nurses though.

Julie
11-16-2007, 02:40 PM
In the UK we have health care assistants (HCA) and Nursing Assitants and they always have to work under the guidance of a nurse. It is the qualified nurse who delegates tasks and who is ultimately responsible for what they do.

Mrs.Rollins
11-16-2007, 11:47 PM
I suggest re-enforce your qualifications when talking to people around her, rather than just a nurse, say that you are a registered nurse with a BNSci.

Yes. We've been advised by all of our instructors and all of our clinical sites to always refer to ourselves as RN's (after graduation, of course) for this very reason. And, if nothing else, it's also for everyone else's convenience because the other person will know if they're speaking or delegating to an appropriate employee.

KimRN
11-22-2007, 04:19 AM
Sorry. I misunderstood the reference to public hearings to mean that she was representing herself as a nurse to patients.

Yeah, what exactly does "public hearing" mean - sounds like she is pretty specific in her description - 30 year OB/GYN nurse?:confused:

m_rizzle
11-22-2007, 10:30 PM
This topic kind of struck a nerve with me, since I've witnessed this sort of behavior first-hand, and I've seen how that kind of attitude can affect patient care.

I'm currently only qualified as a NA, planning on going into nursing school next year, and nothing irritates me more than NAs who try to pass themselves off as something they aren't. Not only does it make RNs & LPNs look bad, and not only is it rather insulting towards those who have worked hard to get where they are, it also makes other NAs look bad. :mad:

I worked with a few NAs who seemed to think that, just because they'd watched a few procedures and knew basic anatomy, they were "practically nurses", to quote a particularly annoying girl who I worked with. The reason that attitude bothers me is that it tends to be the know-it-all fake-nurse NAs who are the least knowledgeable about anything aside from emptying bedpans and changing beds, as they're too arrogant to humble themselves and actually bother to learn anything. This always resulted in crappy patient care on their part.

None of them ever claimed to be a nurse or tried to give out medical advice to patients (at least, as far as I know), but their "I'm better than this" attitude definitely affected their ability to do a good job.

Julie
11-23-2007, 03:11 AM
You are so right m_rizzle, NAs are a necessary part of the work force and have so much to offer to patients in terms of the basic nursing care and also time that they can give to patients. It is really sad that these silly individuals have to act in this way and by so doing risk destroying the very reputation that they could and should have.

Mr Ian
11-23-2007, 04:34 AM
People really should not represent themselves as someone or something they are not. I have a similar example.

I recall an eminent Consultant who provides one of my most favourite tales of nursing.

Unfortunately, this Consultant passed away and of course, being of eminence, made his way to the great Pearly Gates.
To his dissatisfaction he noticed a huge great queue ahead of him and, in his eminent way, began to make forth to the front of the line amidst booming tones of “Excuse me, I'm a Consultant, excuse me, let me through, Consultant here”.
On presenting to the Pearly Gates, St Peter halted the man and said, “I'm sorry sir, there is a queue.”
“I see that,” he replied in assertive yet pleasant manner, “but I'm a Consultant you see and really I've never been made to wait and...”
“I'm sorry sir” St Peter halted him, “but we are all equal in God's eyes and you will just have to queue and wait.”
Much ranting and fuming did nothing to sway St Peter and the eminent Consultant eventually resolved himself to the back of the queue.
Two days later, as the Consultant neared the Pearly Gates towards the front of the queue, from beyond him he heard a voice booming out “Excuse me, I'm a Consultant, excuse me, let me through, Consultant here”. Of course the eminent Consultant looked and gave a mumbled "grrmmph" at the audacity of the man who he knew would be sent packing by St Peter.
However, and to his great surprise and anger, as the man approached the Pearly Gates, St Peter greeted him with a smile, bid him good morning and swung wide open the gates for the man to walk through.
The eminent Consultant, next in line, trotted up to St Peter and could not but help himself; “One moment young St Peter!” he demonstrated, “not two days ago did I come through this line and present myself to you advising I was a Consultant to which you sent me back to the great long queueu – so what in great gajeebies do you think you are doing by allowing that other Consultant through before me?”
“Oh I'm sorry sir” humbled St Peter, “but I'm afraid you're mistaken. That sir is God. He just thinks he's a Consultant”.

As for your fake nurse – it all depends on whether she pronounces herself as 'nurse' with a capital N.
:)

P/J
11-25-2007, 06:22 AM
Mr Ian. Me likes story muchly.

I realize this is slightly off topic but can someone please clarify the titles and experience for America's and UK's nurses please, I'm unsure of how a RN differs from a LPN, NA, etc.

Thanks

P/J
09-15-2008, 08:15 AM
Mother Jones, you are always the voice of reason. You're right, it's probably not "illegal," in the legal sence of the word. Your interpretation is probably more accurate...she just wants to be something or somebody she's not.

After writing a paper on APN position I have found an interesting point. The title 'Nurse' is a protected title under legislation (check your state legislation to make sure). It is thus an offense to represent yourself as a nurse if not qualified.

We have patient care attendants in Australia, who are unlicensed workers in hospitals. It is thus an offense for them to say that they are nurse.

LUV2BLPN
10-12-2011, 03:14 PM
Hello I'm curious about anyone who had to meet with the State Board Pannel to set for the NCLEX because of my past convictions DUI & Shoplifting. board of nursing said it would be up to the facility to hire me my question is how can they deny me when the facility has employees with greater charg or lesser?:confused::dontknow:(I'M NOT IN ANYWAY WANTING TO MAKE THEM LOOSE THEIR JOB)Thanks for any advice or input