I need advise re: an issue that has come up for me. I teach in the local nursing program as an Adjunct Professor. (I teach maternity, L&D, newborn care) They have a shortage of clinical instructors and they asked me if I would like to help out one day a week with this. I am very close to my students, so of course, I said yes. The clinicals take place in the local hospital. I worked for this hospital for 12 years and left there about 2 years ago on good terms.
So, here's the problem. I go to my first day as a clinical instructor and everything goes very well. My co-workers are very glad to see me again. I enjoy helping the students and the students are glad to have me there also. However, the next week I have to meet with the dean of the nursing school
because the VP of nursing at this hospital called them up and said they felt "uncomfortable" having me in their hospital because of an "editorial that I wrote" after leaving the hospital. I think it was an article about how managed care has changed nursing and about how nurses need to become active in healthcare reform, etc. The hospital was never mentioned in the article. At the time, the nurses were attempting to unionize and there was a fierce battle going on. The hospital spent nearly a million dollars and hired an outside company to bust it up. The unionization efforts were unsuccessful - 700 nurses voted and they lost by 40 votes. Anyway, I had voiced my support of the union, even though I wasn't an employee there any longer.
I do have a law degree and I have been very active in healthcare reform. I was active in the passing of the nurse-patient ratio bill.
I am respected for my integrity and ethics in regards to patient care and I consider myself to be a nursing advocate/activist.
Has this hospital violated my freedom of speech rights or the new nursing whistleblower law in any way? Can they call up my present employer and keep me out of there hospital as a clinical instructor? I have always suspected that this hospital was black balling me, but this is the first real evidence that I have regarding this. What do you think? I don't really need the money, I do this part-time teaching for the personal satisfaction that I recieve from it. I love it!!
Oct 5, '01
Well, I just found out that it's not about the editorial that I wrote during the nursing union fight. It's in regards to an upcoming article in "Self" magazine regarding the nursing shortage. My story is featured, along with a picture. I commented on the reasons why I left bedside nursing. I mentioned short staffing, etc. "Self" magazine contacted the hospital to check the facts of my story.
Well, I can no longer work as a clinical instructor at the hospital. Now, you know why nurses don't speak-up about patient care issues. Out of the 100s of nurses that "Self" magazine interviewed, I was only one of a few that would agree to be named.
Last edit by fiestynurse on Oct 5, '01
Oct 6, '01
Last edit by fiestynurse on Mar 31, '04