A nurse is fighting back after hospital executives claim she attempted to help a patient with mental issues escape from the hospital. Based on this claim, the hospital fired the nurse. The nurse states the situation was exaggerated and used to justify her firing. In reality, she states the firing is a wrongful termination in retaliation for her attempts to fight for better nursing coverage within the hospital.
Will the claim move forward?
If the courts review the claim in the same manner as the nursing board, the claim is unlikely to move forward. In an attempt to sanction the nurse’s license, the hospital also filed a claim with the state nursing board. The nurse was able to build a successful case to defend her license and the nursing board dismissed the complaint.
What can other nurses learn from this case?
The case provides two key lessons:
- The importance of vigilance. There are situations when the right thing to do is keep on fighting. In this case, the nurse first brought her complaints and attempts to solve the nursing shortage within the facility to her immediate supervisors. When this failed, she wrote a letter to the executives of the hospital.
- The importance of preparation. Unfortunately, her efforts may have led to a wrongful termination and attempts to have her nursing license revoked. Such attempts are not uncommon. As a result, it is a good idea to have a file of copies of performance evaluations and any workplace commendations. These can serve as evidence to fight back if facing similar allegations.
Those in similar situations are not alone. You have options. An attorney experienced in nursing rights and licensing issues can help to better ensure your rights are protected.