abandonment, what is it?


In my Nursing 2006 journal, in the legal questions section they say that if you show up for a shift and see an unsafe situation and you decline to take report and leave that is considered abandonment. I was always under the impression that you were clear until you actually took report. Actually my state BON ruled in my favor in that situation. (obviously I lost my job, but still had my license ;) ) Has the law changed? Or, more likely IMO, the journal editors are bending the rules a little to brownnose hospital administrators???

Anyone know?


755 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics. Has 22 years experience.

I agree with you, we have always been taught that until you take report and accept the assigment you can choose not to take it and it is not considered abandonment.


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 26 years experience.

I would look at my specific state NPA to be sure on the definition of "abandonment" ....not there? Call or write them then.


1,711 Posts

Has 15 years experience.

It varies by state. In some states, you must assume care of a patient before you can abandon said patient. In others, if you were there and then you left, even without taking report, it is considered abandonment.

zacarias, ASN, RN

1,338 Posts

Specializes in tele, stepdown/PCU, med/surg. Has 14 years experience.

If you are unionized, you can fill out an "Assignment Despite Objection" form. This states that you do not accept the assignment willingly. Who knows what these forms do but I've filled them out and the nurse manager and risk management team met about it and sent me a letter. I felt like it wasn't flying on blind ears.

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