Should I resign or am I overreacting?

Nurses Career Support Nursing Q/A

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Should I resign or am I overreacting?

Do you think it is feasible to stay on a job who's threatening you with the BON and suspending you without providing reason? An incident happened (previous post), but when I asked for the grounds or reason wanting to report to BON I did not receive an answer. This was the response to my "4 page letter asking these questions:” I will not doing anything without giving you a heads up. HR Director and I are meeting at .... I didn't even get an answer as to how long I am suspended. I wanted the answers for a peace of mind and to prepare if necessary, but they're not providing anything. What should I do? Should I have contacted HR first? I never had to deal with a situation like this, and almost have zero guidance. Keep in mind...what I think they would try to present to the board will not stand, because I didn't put anyones safety at harm. Should I resign or am I overreacting?  Thanks in advance for your responses. 

58 Answers

Specializes in Critical Care.

Been there. I lucked out - in a way. 

I started in ICU as a new grad at a very large hospital. I loved it. I loved the people I worked with. Some people didn't like me back so much, and when they got into a bind, took advantage of my bad habit of being a people pleaser (and it truly is a bad habit...). 

Anyway, I did end up going to HR, after talking with several lawyer friends. They all had the same responses and faces that screamed "This is really unfortunate, and I'm really sorry you're going through this. This is what you can do at this point to protect yourself." Which was to gather all objective documentation (text messages, phone calls, voicemails, emails, prior reviews) and present things to HR in the most objective manner.

During my convo with HR, the HR lady left twice to go consult her boss, because she was at a loss and didn't know how to answer my questions, nor how to respond to my story. 

I was internally transferred. After a few months, the Director was fired. She truly was gunning to blame anyone for things that were her wrongs

. It came out over time and was obvious.

Yes HR is for the company: sometimes the best interest of the company does = getting rid of a boss that is sincerely, seriously. misleading & misguiding their nurses. I feel like my case is a rare case. You def wanna be prepared and get some legal advice. You don't know what you don't know. 

Specializes in Critical Care.

From your explanation of the situation previously, I would agree that nothing reportable to the BON occurred, but I'd also be surprised if you have a job to resign from at this point.

Specializes in Critical Care.
19 minutes ago, BaybeeNurse20 said:

Thank you for your honest opinion! That may very well be the case. The crazy thing is I never had a write up or disciplinary issue. I see this issue as a matter of 2 employees having a disagreement and one going home (myself) to diffuse the situation. Thank you for your response.  

I don't disagree that it's best to do what you feel you really need to do in these situations, but your description of this as "a matter of 2 employees having a disagreement and one going home to diffuse the situation", is not how an employer will see it.  You were given a work assignment by a supervisor and refused to do it, that's pretty straightforward insubordination.  

Specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis.

Regardless of how their threats to report you to the BON progress, which by the way should go nowhere as you did nothing reportable you are done at that job.  Even if you end up not being terminated why on earth would you ever consider going back there?   

From an HR point of view for a prospective employer it does look better to have a resignation on your resume rather than a termination though being fired certainly doesn't mean you won't get another job easily. 

Here's an idea.  You are currently suspended for an unspecified amount of time so get those job applications and your resume out there now. You are officially still employed so if you get another position soon which is very likely in most job markets you won't even have a gap in employment to explain. 

Even if you are terminated before you find another job most companies have a policy of only releasing your date of hire and last day of work to confirm employment and can tell prospective employers if you eligible for rehire. They wouldn't tell a future employer during a reference check that you were suspended nor would they discuss any other kind of disciplinary action.

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life).

I agree that the writing is on the wall. Count your losses and move on. There does not seem to be anything in your situation that is reportable to the BON but this tactic is often used with newer nurses to keep them in line. This is because it has been beaten into new grads how their license is always in danger and until you gain an understanding of the things nurses actually lose their licenses for you live in fear. 

If you are determined to fight this you will have to hire an attorney who can demand a formal meeting and gain access to any records/documentation that might be used against you. I say hire an attorney because going to HR on your own will serve you nothing. HR does not exist to protect employees but rather to protect the interests of the company. 

Use your experience to look for a new job. and walk away with your dignity in tact.


Specializes in Cardiac, Telemetry.
BaybeeNurse20 said:

OK Thank you all so much for the responses and advice. I've spoke with HR. For some reason the director said she needed to talk to them And then they'll schedule a meeting. I'm new to this and never had to go through this but I thought that was weird. So, I still contacted them today! I've done my research on HR and I am aware of their primary responsibility/ interests now. However, after talking to HR, they requested I email them a statement. Do you all think it is wise to email a statement without having an attorney review the statement? I feel that something fishy is going on here. I do not care about the job. The only thing I care about my license. HR claim that she knows nothing of the case b/c she's been busy due to this weeks festivities or celebration. So, I still was not told the reason for suspension or reason for them contacting the board. 

I just had a similar situation but as a travel nurse but they were flat out trying to assign me to work a unit where additional certifications(chemotherapy) were required and I refused. They tried to convince me to leave without waiting for coverage to attempt at the patient abandonment but my first passion of nursing was always legal nursing so I was 20 steps ahead. As to your situation, you waited for relief and gave report. You literally handed off care to the next nurse. As soon as the next nurse accepts report, you are no longer responsible for those patients. So that supervisor was just doing what 90% of most inpatient nursing managers do which is be a manipulative condescending piece of garbage trying to place fear into you. I'd just be willing to leave if I were you, if you stay there, they're gonna make your life Haydees.

Honestly, it sounds like they're preparing to terminate you. HR rarely has the best interest of employees at heart. Heavy emphasis on RARELY!! So really at this point, its be terminated or resign. Somewhat bright side is, if you're terminated, you can apply for unemployment until you find another job. ?

Specializes in Critical Care.

I don't think you should feel bad about putting your foot down, but it's important to know where you stand after that.

I make a point of putting my foot down in toes that deserve it, but it also helps to have some sort of power in your pocket first.  

If you don't, then your sort of stuck in a bad position going forward, and resigning before being terminated might be in your best interests.

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life).

You have to be aware of the specific written policies and procedures for your facility.  If there is a specific written policy that if you have a patient with specific communicable disease you will only have a certain number of patients then you do have the right to question your assignment.  (I suspect your job description states something like other assignments as needed) However stating some like "If I have to have this assignment I'll just go home." is not questioning the assign and is refusing care. If you do the hospital also has every right to bring disciplinary action against you. In my facility we often have heavy (possible unsafe) assignments. When this happens I state that the assignment is unsafe, that I will continue to work but will not be held responsible for adverse events related to staffing. Then I record the conversation with date time and name of supervisor and carry on.


Specializes in Cardiac, Telemetry.
4 hours ago, BaybeeNurse20 said:

Thank you for that comment. I understand that point. At the time I guess I thought I was receiving and unfair and unsafe assignment due to the fact we were told if we have a patient with a certain communicable disease then the total number of patients we can take was the said amount. Do I not have a right to refuse an unfair or unsafe assignment? Unsafe assignment constitutes an inappropriate number of patients assigned to one nurse, with respect to patient acuity.

I would always opt with going with your gut. Just weigh the consequences which are usually just losing your job. You can always get another. I saw someone comment that they will document a discussion made with a manager in regards to an unsafe assignment but will continue to work it. In non health care law, if someone commits a crime under the commands of another person, they can't go to the cops and say "they told me to do it so I did it." and not face any criminal reprimands. The BON triumph everything. Just remember that. They will always get right down to the point of "did YOU think that was safe?" Not did the facility think it was safe. They will penalize you AND the facility. You rather the facility go down on its own. So I wouldn't recommend following that...You reserve the right to refuse/question an assignment before taking report. It isn't patient abandonment until you've received report.. Sorry for my 2 cents LOL...

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life).
7 minutes ago, BaybeeNurse20 said:

@hppygr8ful thank you for your response. I initially questioned the assignment but after they were acting as if they wouldn’t change it I said I’ll go home. You have a great point! It’s all in the wording. I was definitely trying to make it as short as possible. Sorry. That’s my fault. Do you make notes for yourself when you record the date, time, and supervisor? That’s a great tip! 

I keep a running diary of just about everything. I do a lot of creative writing so I never know when a particular situation might strike a thought. Of course those notes don't include patient identifyers.


Specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis.

There's jobs everywhere nowadays. If you decide against the travel position, look for a different job. No matter where you land no way on God's green earth would I stay where you are now after this, even if you can. 

Specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis.
19 hours ago, BaybeeNurse20 said:

@kbrn2002 Oh yes! Believe me I won’t stay there. I am leaving. How would you go about leaving if you were in this situation? My main focus is finding out their plans.. like, what else will they try to come up with to send a complaint to the board? Or if they still decide to report me to the board. 

Don't even worry about them filing a complaint with the BON. You did nothing reportable so that's just an empty threat. Even if they carried through with filing a complaint which would be a ridiculous waste of BON resources nothing would come of it.  Also don't worry about trying to find out their plans. Do you really think they'd tell you the truth about that anyway?

As to how you leave, do it with dignity. Simply give your two week notice, if they have the nerve to ask why tell them you are pursuing other opportunities. Then work through the notice time as scheduled.  Unless of course they tell you when you give notice that you don't need to work the remainder of your schedule or those two weeks in which case it's "bye Felicia!" and don't give them another thought. 

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