Requesting two week leave from work to focus on health


How do I go about requesting a two - three weeks away from my job to focus on my health. This past year hasn't been the greatest and I've dealt with alot new health issues that's been effecting my mental health. I've been working as a nurse for 3 years and have not truly had any vacation time. The longest vacation I've taken was a 10 days break in all three year. I've recently changed job going from inpatient to outpatient and have been here for 6 months now. I'm afraid to request something this significant so suddenly but my health has really taken a toll on me and although I am able to function at work, I do feel like I  need to take a step back and recoup. Does FMLA apply to this? I don't want to quit my job but I also have not accruded enough PTO time to take an extended break. 


4,922 Posts

Is this 2-3 weeks off to arrange/attend doctors appointments and therapy sessions/treatments or just relax and recover? If it's the below

Several issues here:

1. If you have only been there 6 months then you likely do not qualify for FMLA

2. FMLA only guarantees your employment it does not pay anything.

3. Your employer is not going to look too kindly on this neither are your co-workers-especially if you are asking off during prime vacation months

What you can try:

1. Have your PCP write you off on STD however you may not qualify due to your short employment history and lack of PTO

2. Take off whatever vacation you have accrued. At 6 months you should have a week's worth available. 

3. Ask for an unpaid LOA. If you do this you will need a well laid out plan of action.

Frankly I would be surprised if you are allowed to do this and I worry that even asking will flag you as "difficult". These last 3 years have been horrible for literally everybody. We all could use a "re-set" but unfortunately the current situation in healthcare will not allow it. I have thousands of hours of accrued ill time and nearly 400 vacation hours. I am in the top 3 for seniority and even I can only take one week at a time. 


4 Articles; 2,392 Posts

Specializes in New Critical care NP, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC. Has 11 years experience.

I would agree with Wuzzie's response. While we all want co-workers to be able to prioritize their health, you're going to find very few workplaces these days that can handle the strain of being short staffed for someone to address personal issues. I'm in no way trying to minimize whatever you have experienced, and I agree that you should at least have some vacation time that you can take. But if you don't feel you can address things in the vacation time you have, or in your non-working hours, you may have to step back from working.

Do you have an employee health line? Can you find a counselor or someone to meet with outside of work hours? Are you trying to prioritize your mental and physical well-being when not at work? Make sure you're optimizing your nutrition and sleep. Have you had recent bloodwork? Perhaps you're dealing with vitamin deficiencies that are compounding your other stresses?

Good luck to you, hoping you can find a way to improve your own health and maintain your job. 

klone, MSN, RN

14,486 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 17 years experience.

You are not eligible for FMLA until you've been at your place of employment for 12 months. Some places offer non-FMLA LOA, you would need to contact your HR department to see what your options are.