I was fired due to a he said, she said type of situation, with no actual proof. I was put on a 12-month probation with the board of nursing. Do I have any rights concerning the CEO and DON who fired me? It is complicated, but I have had great reviews and no problems until those two were hired. Other members of the staff are having problems as well. I have been so depressed and need to find a new job. However, I am having a very hard time moving on.
Nancy Brent replies:
It would be difficult to respond to your question without more details, but some general comments can be made. One concern is the fact that the board of nursing did place you on probation. It is assumed you had legal counsel in that proceeding, but whether you did or not, if you believe the probation was without merit, working with a nurse attorney or attorney to rehear your case might be possible. Generally, nursing boards make disciplinary decisions based on an investigation of the facts of each case and allow both sides to present their facts and evidence before making a decision. Such a rehearing may not be possible in your state, but it is worth looking into if the situation that resulted in the board’s action against you was not factually based or was made inconsistent with the board’s obligations in this regard.
You need to consult with a nurse attorney or attorney in your state to evaluate whether or not you have a case against the CEO and/or DON who fired you. As an example, if your firing was due to a protected right you exercised say whistleblowing on unethical behavior in the facility to an outside agency you may be able to sue them under applicable laws. Or, if they defamed you in some way e.g., fired you for incompetent practice and shared this with your colleagues you may have a case as well. If you are considering filing a suit due to the firing, and you think it has merit, consulting with an attorney sooner rather than later would be very important.