Quits Without Notice, Threatened with Abandonment

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I started a new job and I'm still not in the system for clocking in. I was scheduled to work. Other people called in. Which would have left 2 people for 53 residents. I told the schedule person that I quit and left. The DON called me left a message saying they going to report me for abandonment.


    Dear Threatened with Abandonment,

    A nurse-patient relationship must first have been established before a nurse can be charged with abandonment.

    You don't say if you had taken an assignment before you quit and left. If you had not yet accepted report on your patients, or received your work assignment, then it's not abandonment. If you had started to care for your patients, and then left without handing off care to another qualified person, it likely is abandonment.

    It is probably an idle threat on the part of the DON, who is reacting from frustration. Unfortunately this misinforms nurses. Go to the BON website in your state and you will find the definition of abandonment.

    It's unprofessional to "quit and leave". The situation was extreme, but there are other ways to handle it that would not reflect poorly on you.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,482; Likes: 4,362

    2 Comments

  3. by   Here.I.Stand
    Wow... So the solution to short staffing was to leave a single nurse with 53 residents? I can't imagine doing that to a colleague. If you hadn't received report yet I suppose it wouldn't meet the legal definition of abandonment, but dang.
  4. by   OrganizedChaos
    Quote from Here.I.Stand
    Wow... So the solution to short staffing was to leave a single nurse with 53 residents? I can't imagine doing that to a colleague. If you hadn't received report yet I suppose it wouldn't meet the legal definition of abandonment, but dang.
    Yeah, that's unbelievable. Way to make a crappy situation even worse! Glad you quit because I wouldn't want someone like you to be my coworker. OP, 53 residents could've easily been split between two nurses but you chose to leave you fellow nurse and coworker high and dry. Good luck explaining this in future interviews.

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