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What happens if you quit?

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Specializes in CTICU. Has 25 years experience.

Are you allowed to quit during a pandemic/state of emergency?

Are there licensure ramifications?

If my employer is not able to supply appropriate PPE does that change anything?

I am in a precarious situation at the moment, in that because I am per diem my organization will not give me health insurance even though we are in a state of emergency and I work in critical care as a tech. This has made me feel like I should not come in until I have health insurance which could take 2 weeks. I have a shift tomorrow and I am very apprehensive to go in. With that being said, if you are a nurse with health insurance if I were you I would not quit because they really need you right now. Again, I am not a nurse yet, but if I were and I had health insurance I would definitely stay.

Katillac, RN

Has 18 years experience.

Allowed to quit? Do you mean can you be forced to stay?
In my state there is nothing in the Nurse Practice Act that would allow the BON to censure a nurse for quitting during a pandemic.
Technically, the lack of PPE would not prevent the BON from censuring you for abandonment IF YOU ALREADY TOOK REPORT on a patient. But these are uncharted waters.

JadedCPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU. Has 15 years experience.

There is nothing preventing you from quitting at this time, assuming you aren’t abandoning patients in the middle of the shift.

If you are quitting, however, simply to avoid possible patients with COVID, be prepared to be out of work for quite a while because these patients will be seen at every level and every facility for weeks to come.

ghillbert, MSN, NP

Specializes in CTICU. Has 25 years experience.

I am not quitting to "avoid possible patients with COVID" - I look after patients currently with all kinds of pathologies. However, that is with appropriate PPE.

I am someone who performs emergent intubations and airway management, and I am concerned that the PPE is running out and I see nurses at other facilities using garbage bags over their heads etc. I expect my employer to provide equipment to permit me to do my job with a reasonable risk.

I just didn't know if there was some mandate about having to work during a state of emergency if needed. I could not find any info on the state website. I certainly would not be abandoning patients during a shift.

Not sure what my health insurance has to do with the question.

I am also having trouble finding specific legal info on this. I will say (hearsay) a friend and fellow nurse in PA who spoke to her union rep said in PA we are a mandated state (not sure which states are and are not) and could risk license if quitting job during time of crisis.

Orion81RN

Has 7 years experience.

20 hours ago, ghillbert said:

I am not quitting to "avoid possible patients with COVID" - I look after patients currently with all kinds of pathologies. However, that is with appropriate PPE.

I am someone who performs emergent intubations and airway management, and I am concerned that the PPE is running out

Not sure what my health insurance has to do with the question.

That poster was speaking for themself.

It would make sense to me to expect employers who take on replacement employees to take the places of those who quit during this time, to show preference to keeping those replacement employees, when this is all over. At the very least, hire new people and tell those who quit that there are no openings available to them. Even in normal times, when someone leaves, no matter the reason, often they find it impossible to return. Just happens that way it seems.

Katillac, RN

Has 18 years experience.

3 hours ago, ohbejoyful said:

I am also having trouble finding specific legal info on this. I will say (hearsay) a friend and fellow nurse in PA who spoke to her union rep said in PA we are a mandated state (not sure which states are and are not) and could risk license if quitting job during time of crisis.

I did a search in the PDFs of the nurse practice regulations for PA, and didn't find the word mandate, disaster or crisis. They are the folks who would censure your license.

PA Act 102 specifies that you can be mandated to work overtime (including complete extra shifts) in times of "unforeseeable national or state emergencies". But that's a Department of Labor thing and allows them to fire you with cause (not take action on your license) for not working when they want during a crisis like this one.

Nothing is said in either about penalties for quitting during emergencies, as long as you either have handed off in report or didn't take an assignment to begin with. Maybe it's a union thing?

ghillbert, MSN, NP

Specializes in CTICU. Has 25 years experience.

On 3/22/2020 at 1:47 PM, Orion81RN said:

That poster was speaking for themself.

"If you are a nurse with health insurance" was what that poster stated, to me.