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Can the hospital deny me a job because I had MRSA?


Dear Donna,

I worked in a CICU for 9 years. I got a case of community-acquired MRSA. I was treated with oral antibiotics. One of the other RNs found out about my diagnosis, allegedly from a supervisor. She told others about it. I was upset because of the stigma attached to the diagnosis. It has been 11 months, and I want to return to my job. Can the hospital deny me a job because of my diagnosis?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Cassie,

I consulted a human resource expert on this. Here’s what he had to say:

“The American’s with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of a disability if the candidate is capable of performing the fundamental aspects of the job with or without a reasonable accommodation. This nurse should be allowed to work as long as she does not present a threat to others.

“The supervisor is guilty of an egregious breech of confidence. If I were this nurse, I would report her to the department head and/or the HR department.”

My best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeek’s “Dear Donna” and author of Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional. To ask Donna your question, go to Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call (800) 866-0919 or visit

By | 2008-06-12T00:00:00-04:00 June 12th, 2008|Categories: Blogs, Nursing careers and jobs|0 Comments

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