On the Job, Professional Identity

Medical Assistants Must Not Refer to Themselves as “Nurses”

Medical assistants must scrupulously avoid conveying the message that they are nursing personnel or members of any profession other than medical assisting.

It is unethical, illegal, and a disservice to the medical assisting profession for medical assistants to refer to themselves as “nurses,” “office nurses,” “doctors’ nurses,” or any other generic term that even remotely implies that medical assistants are nurses.

Review the supporting evidence within excerpts from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing NCSBN Model Act (2012) and several states’ nurse practice acts in the May/June 2019 Public Affairs article, “Medical Assistants Must Not Refer to Themselves as ‘Nurses,’” on the AAMA website.

Certification and the CMA (AAMA) Credential, On the Job, Professional Identity

Medical Assistants as “School Nurses”

Today I received a question about whether a medical assistant is allowed to work as a “school nurse.”

Just as medical assistants cannot use the title “nurse,” “office nurse,” or “doctor’s nurse” (see my Public Affairs article from the January/February 2011 CMA Today), under the laws of all American jurisdictions medical assistants—even CMAs (AAMA)—are not permitted to be employed as “school nurses.”  In some states medical assistants are permitted to assist registered nurses who are functioning as school nurses.  To reiterate, however, medical assistants are not allowed to work as “school nurses.”

Accreditation, Certification and the CMA (AAMA) Credential, Scope of Practice

Presentation to the NCSBN

I recently presented a webinar for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing entitled “Medical Assistants: Scope of Practice, Education, and Credentialing.”  This webinar was presented to the boards of nursing of the states and territories of the United States.  The content of this webinar will be published in the Public Affairs department in future issues of CMA Today, but I would like to offer the file for download on Legal Eye.

The substance of this presentation is especially helpful for nurses who have limited knowledge about CMAs (AAMA). The information within touches on some of the following subjects:

  • Defining medical assistants vs. nursing assistants and medication aides
  • Legal principles surrounding medical assisting
  • Education of medical assistants—coursework and accreditation
  • State laws governing medical assisting in South Dakota and New Jersey
  • Medical assisting credentials—trends
  • NCCA accreditation
  • Value of the CMA (AAMA) credential
  • Medical assisting scope of practice

Please view and share this presentation. And, as always, contact me with any questions regarding the legal aspects of the profession.