Nursing Students Employed as Unlicensed Assistive Personnel

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The American Nurses Association Code of Ethics for Nurses states:

  • The nurse practice with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth, and unique attributes of every person.
  • The nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient, whether an individual, family, group, community, or population.
  • The nurse promotes, advocates for, and protects the rights, health, and safety of the patient.
  • The nurse has authority, accountability, and responsibility for nursing practice; makes decisions; and takes action consistent with the obligation to promote health and to provide optimal care.
  • The nurse owes the same duties to self as to others, including the responsibility to promote health and safety, preserve wholeness of character and integrity, maintain competence, and continue personal and professional growth.
  • The nurse, through individual and collective effort, establishes, maintains, and improves the ethical environment of the work setting and conditions of employment that are conducive to safe, quality health care.
  • The nurse, in all roles and settings, advances the profession through research and scholarly inquiry, professional standards development, and the generation of both nursing and health policy.
  • The nurse collaborates with other health professionals and the public to protect human rights, promote health diplomacy, and reduce health disparities.
  • The profession of nursing, collectively through its professional organizations, must articulate nursing values, maintain the integrity of the profession, and integrate principles of social justice into nursing and health policy.


Nursing students who are working in health care facilities or providing any type of healthcare services for remuneration are deemed unlicensed assistive personal.  Although enrolled in a prelicensure nursing program, the student does not possess the licensure status required for assuming the roles and responsibilities of a registered or practical nurse in the employment setting.

The trained unlicensed person, including those individuals classified as student nurse, may perform tasks that are delegated to them by a licensed nurse in accordance with the rules of delegation as outlined in the Ohio Administrative Code 4723-13-05.

While working as unlicensed assistive personnel, the student nurse may not use the term “nurse” or any term that would imply that they are a licensed nurse (Ohio Revised Code 4723.01 and 4723.43).

Healthcare facilities that allow or encourage nursing students to accept and perform tasks beyond those tasks normally delegated or within the appropriate training of an unlicensed assistive individual may be guilty of abetting the unlawful practice of nursing.

Additionally, the academic institution in which the student is registered is not required to provide supervisory oversight nor has responsibility/liability for the student’s actions as an employee of a health care facility.








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