Clinical Assessment, On the Job, Professional Identity, Scope of Practice

Supervision in an Office Setting

I recently received the following question:

I work in a medical specialty office. We have four CMAs (AAMA) and six nurses. Is it legal for a medical assistant to supervise a nurse in an office setting?

Here is my response:

Thank you for your question. It is my legal opinion that a medical assistant is permitted to supervise a registered nurse and a licensed practical/vocational nurse in regard to non-clinical matters–such as work schedule, office attire, compliance with government regulations, and administrative protocol. A medical assistant is not permitted to supervise an RN or an LP/VN in regard to clinical matters. This is due to the fact that clinical supervision of a nurse may require the medical assistant to exercise independent professional judgment, or to make clinical assessments, evaluations, or interpretations.