Can nurses refuse assignments?

  1. I am a nursing student due to graduate in May and I was hoping someone could give me info on their policies or beliefs on this topic for a debate I will be doing in class (nurse's right to refuse a patient vs patient rights)...We are focusing more on the moral situations rather than on short staffing. For example a pregnant nurse has an order not to lift more than 50 pounds, yet she is the only nurse available to help a patient back from the bedside commode, does she help him? what if he falls? Another situation: you are taking care of an aids patient, but you are immunosuppressed due to taking prednisone because you have lupus...what do you do? any other examples would be a great help...and also what was done about it. Thanks for any reply's....see you in the front lines in May!
  2. Visit dvldogwife profile page

    About dvldogwife

    Joined: Mar '01; Posts: 2


  3. by   OC_An Khe
    Yes nurses can and should not accept that they deem unsafe or are not prepared to do.
    To do so not only endangers patients it also endangers the nurse accepting the assignment.
    You place yourself in potential physical danger, risk economic loss and the loss of your liscense to practice.
    Any facility, instructor or any person who says you can't refuse an assignment is not giving you good advice or else they have an ulterior motive.
  4. by   Tiara
    You could also check info at and
  5. by   dvldogwife
    Originally posted by Tiara:
    You could also check info at and
    Thank you! This helps a lot!
  6. by   KSEFLINK
    Any nurse can also ask for a work accomodation for any of these situations. They need to be covered by a medical note from a care provider and your employee or occupational health provider can work with you on these. Many institutions also have forms for nurses to fill out in the case of "moral" situations that you feel you cannot assist in. These include blood hanging or assisting in abortions. Check 0ut what is available for you