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Can you tell me how to find out if I am allowed to give massages under my RN license or if I need to get additional certification?

Tuesday July 8, 2014
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Question:

Dear Donna,

Can you tell me how to find out if I am allowed to give massages under my RN license or if I need to get additional certifications? I’m hearing different things from different people.

Wants to Do Massage

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Wants to Do Massage,

Part of the reason you may be getting differing advice is because it depends on how and where you want to do massage. Nurses are certainly able to give back rubs and related massage in the course of certain types of nursing work/positions. Massage therapy in the broader sense is recognized as part of a nurse’s scope of practice in some states but not in others. If you were to independently start doing massage, you would need to check with your state board of nursing and/or department of health to see what the regulations are where you live.

The easiest way to start is to contact the National Association of Nurse Massage Therapists (www.nanmt.org). They have compiled a directory of requirements and schools by state (http://www.massagetherapy.com/careers/stateboards.php).

Nurse massage therapy is a growing specialty for nurses. It is used for general relaxation and also for stress relief, pain management, physical rehab, sports medicine, in hospice and palliative care and more. Infant massage also is popular.

Best wishes,
Donna


Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://www. Nurse.com/Events.