Can I Quit Without Notice?

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by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

Dear Nurse Beth,

I’m burnt out and tired at my full time job. I get handed assignments that I don’t want to do that aren’t in my job description because the other nurses do not feel that they have to do their jobs at my facility. I work shifts that I didn’t agree to because no one else will work them. I fear putting in my notice at my place of employment. I fear that my boss may take it upon herself to destroy my career due to anger for me quitting as we are short staffed and I am a wound nurse who is very good at her job.

My boss has done things to jeopardize other nurses and their careers for crossing her. I feel stuck. I’ve put in written notice twice and have been talked into staying both times. The first time they offered me a wound nurse position in the hopes that I would stay. The DON at the time was a DNP CWS that I thought would be providing me with on the job training. This was not the case and I was thrown into an unfamiliar position. Then I saw what my boss had done to a co-worker that she felt “crossed her.”

She did what she could to sabotage that nurse’s career. And I saw her do it again to another nurse, only because that nurse didn’t agree with what she did to the nurse that she got fired. I don’t feel that my license is safe working at this facility while she is in charge. I feel that she will go out of her way to make me look neglectful in any way possible and report me to the board.

I document everything that happens when I’m on shift as far as non-compliance or when wounds are reported. I would rather quit with no notice since I have a PRN job that I can switch to full time for. Is there anything my boss can do to jeopardize my license if I quit effective immediately?

Dear Burnt and Tired,

Unless the organization is doing something illegal, unsafe, or you are in danger, it's considered unprofessional to quit without notice. You could be leaving your co-workers to pick up the slack and patients without needed wound care.

At the same time, only you know when you've experienced the proverbial last straw and can't take another day. Your license is not in jeopardy. Unless you signed a contract, they can't really do anything except give you a poor reference.

If your boss is as vengeful as you say, she will still try to discredit you even if you leave without notice. Meaning she could make up a complaint to the BON whether you are still working there or not. Hopefully the BON can differentiate legitimate complaints from trumped-up complaints- I think they can.

But you can't control what your boss will or won't do, just your own behavior. 

To sum it up, it boils down to a personal choice and professional decision.

Best wishes in your decision,

Nurse Beth




25 Posts

Hi @nursebeth,

What did you end up doing? What decision did you make? Take care. 


eileendg1989, RN

Specializes in Emergency Room. Has 7 years experience. 18 Posts

You need to finish that shift so they can not state you abandoned your tour. then put in your resignation letter effective immediately.