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What recourse does a nurse have for being abruptly terminated?

Dear Donna,

Recently, I was abruptly terminated from my job after two years. My record has been clean, including my prior work experience, I suspect I was let go because I recently made issues of what I believe are unsafe practices in my workplace. What recourse do I have at this point?

Abruptly Terminated


Dear Abruptly Terminated,

Because you believe you were unfairly terminated from your job, you should seek the services of a nurse attorney (rather than a non-nurse attorney).
Nurse attorneys are uniquely qualified to represent nurses in employment-related issues such as this. Find a nurse attorney by asking around, getting a referral through your state chapter of the American Nurses Association whether or not you are a member, or through The American Association of Nurse Attorneys. Call a few, briefly explain your situation, and ask if they think you have a case. Most will not charge for this initial phone call.
Some nurses believe if they contact an attorney, they are somehow admitting wrongdoing. That is simply not the case. Seeking legal help, advice and support in a situation like this is for the sole purpose of protecting your rights. Your license, livelihood and reputation are at stake.
Other nurses avoid legal advice/representation because they assume they cannot afford it. You don’t have to spend anything to make the initial phone call and get more information. And some matters are solved more quickly and easily than others. But with so much at risk, you can barely afford not to seek legal help.

Best wishes,


Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, CSP,’s career advice columnist is president of Known as The Inspiration Nurse, she is a keynote speaker, retreat and seminar leader, 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.” She brings more than 20 years of clinical, management and business experience to her role as career guru. To ask Donna question, email [email protected]


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By | 2015-08-25T12:26:12-04:00 August 18th, 2015|Categories: Nursing Careers and Jobs|0 Comments

About the Author:

Barry Bottino
Barry Bottino is a freelance writer and editor who has more than 25 years of experience at various newspapers and magazines.

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