I recently received the following question from a manager at a health care system in North Carolina:
We are looking at ways to assist nurses in the hospital setting due to the nursing shortage. Can medical assistants practice in a hospital setting without a nursing assistant certification?
Medical assistants are permitted to meet the requirements and register with the state as certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and medication aides. Short of this, medical assistants are considered unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) when working under nurse supervision in inpatient settings.
The North Carolina Board of Nursing has issued some detailed and helpful position statements on what nurses are permitted to delegate to UAP. See the following documents for additional details:
- Chapter 36 – Board of Nursing: Section .0100 – General Provisions
- Medication Aide Education & Role in Long Term Care/Skilled Nursing Facilities vs Adult Care Settings: Position Statement for RN and LPN Practice
- Delegation of Medication Administration to UAP: Position Statement for RN and LPN Practice
- Delegation and Assignment of Nursing Activities: Position Statement for RN and LPN Practice
- Decision Tree for Delegation to UAP