Can an RN who did not clock in get in trouble for abandonment if she had concerns for the assignment safety related to staffing and telemetry monitoring? She called the manager and refused the assignment because of these issues. She did leave and told the charge nurse from the previous shift that she quit. She did not notify HR until the next day that she quit.
Dear Anna Marie,
It is not possible to suggest what will result from the nurse’s conduct in this situation. She reported leaving and the fact that she was quitting to the charge nurse and the manager, respectively. These reports may be taken into consideration in relation to any charges by the former employer and by the state board of nursing, should the employer decide to report the situation.
The nurse might want to consult with a nurse attorney or an attorney who represents nurses in professional disciplinary actions in order to be prepared in the event action is taken by the employer and/or the board.
If nurses are confronted with similar safety concerns for your patients in a job, it is always best to try to resolve them at the time they arise. As an example, instead of not clocking in and reporting to supervisors that you are quitting, raise these issues with those who had control over staffing and telemetry. Asking for additional staff or a mentor or preceptor to be with a nurse on the unit might have resolved the situation. Additionally, raising concerns about the safety of patients would be vital.
If these concerns were not heeded, the nurse could have raised them immediately with the CNO. One of the CNO’s chief responsibilities is safe patient care, so the nurse’s concerns probably would have been taken seriously. In addition, risk management can be another resource at times like these.
Advocating for patient safety is an important role for nurses. Doing so in a professional manner, and in a manner that does not pose potential problems for the nurse, is always the best route to follow.