Nurses' aides, domestics, and other unlicensed individuals may classify themselves
as practical nurses.
In general, they are not trained or equipped to render professional or semi-professional
services according to the professional concept of “nursing.”
Unlicensed nurse’s services are similar to those performed by domestic workers.
Those services include bathing, grooming, reading to patients, arranging bedding and
clothing, preparing and serving meals, and occasionally giving oral medication left
in their custody.
They are subject to supervision and control, regardless of whether they work for a
medical institution, physician, or in a private household. For coverage rules for
domestic services performed in a private home, see RS 01901.200.
EXAMPLE 1: Mary Lamb was confined to bed at her daughter's home with an incurable respiratory
ailment. At the doctor's suggestion, two licensed practical nurses were engaged to
care for her during two consecutive eight-hour shifts. The nurses’ duties included
bathing Mrs. Lamb, changing her attire and bedding, feeding her, administering medications
at intervals prescribed by the doctor, keeping a pulse and temperature chart, and
notifying the doctor of any changes in her condition. To monitor changes to her condition,
the nurses rented portable oxygen equipment and administered oxygen when her breathing
became labored. Mrs. Lamb’s daughter also administered oxygen to her mother when neither
nurse was on duty.
The daughter did the general housekeeping and prepared all meals for Mrs. Lamb and
the nurses; however, the nurses kept Mrs. Lamb's room clean and occasionally helped
her daughter's children get ready for school. When the daughter became ill, the nurses
did some of the household chores. Both nurses consistently reported their net earnings
from private duty as self-employment income, and did so in this case.
The services administered were primarily to provide for Mrs. Lamb's medical needs.
The nurses had always held themselves out as self-employed and reported their earnings
accordingly. The nurses voluntarily performed the domestic services without the control
of any member of the household. It appears from the facts that the nurses correctly
reported their earnings as independent contractors.
EXAMPLE 2: Al Morgan obtained the services of a registered nurse through a directory of nurses.
Although he had no ailments that required medical attention, he wanted a registered
nurse in attendance at all times. The nurses’ duties were to read to him, handle his
mail, take him for walks, eat meals with him and, in general, act as a companion.
Mr. Morgan directed and controlled the manner and order in which the nurse performed
her services. Whenever Mr. Morgan contracted minor ailments, the nurse administered
medications left by his physician, but these duties were subordinate to those she
regularly performed. Consequently, her services were those of an employee under the
common-law control test. For common-law control test on classifying workers as employees,
see RS 02101.020.