Arizona Board of Nursing

Why You Shouldn’t Claim to be a Nurse

You should never claim to be a nurse or a medical professional. It seems like an obvious statement, but it happens. Nurses are held to high standards to safeguard patients and ensure they receive the highest quality care. However,  regulations and laws exist so medical assistants and others cannot claim to be a nurse when they are not.

Arizona Nursing Illegal Acts

It is not only Arizona where it is illegal, but all states have laws against claiming a license a person does not have. In other words, someone may not say they are a nurse when they don’t have the proper schooling and documentation. There are specific acts only a nurse can perform and are otherwise illegal for someone else to perform. These acts include:

  • Operating any training program which claims  to prepare students to become a licensed or certified nurse.
  • Operating any educational program to train students for licensure as a nurse.
  • Using any letter, sign, abbreviation or the like that indicates the person is a nurse of any kind.
  • Using any sign, letter, abbreviation or the like that shows a person is certified in any way to practice nursing.
  • Acting as a nurse in any way in Arizona when not licensed

Don’t Misrepresent Yourself

Besides being illegal there are other reasons misrepresenting yourself is harmful. It’s important for a patient visiting a doctor’s office understand there are medical assistants who help them, nurses and then the physician. Deceiving a patient violates laws and could prevent proper patient care from being administered by a professional. Any medical assistant or stranger impersonating a nurse when they are not should be reported to the appropriate state’s board. It is also highly disrespectful to nurses who have worked diligently for their license to have someone impersonate them.

Obviously, anyone who is pretending certificates and education that they don’t have can lead others to harm. It is a nurse’s responsibility (or anyone for that matter) to clearly tell the person that they must not misrepresent themselves.

It is in the interest of public safety that it is illegal for anyone to use the title of nurse unless they have the certification or licensure that shows it to be true.

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