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I am a newly hired operating room nurse and just found out I am pregnant. Will I be let go?

Thursday August 8, 2013
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Dear Donna,

I am a newly hired operating room nurse without any experience and I just found out I am pregnant. I have only done general cases as a scrub nurse and I haven't even been trained in other fields. I am only three months into a yearlong orientation period. Will I be let go because I am pregnant and might not be able to handle the position?

Worried Pregnant RN

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Worried Pregnant RN,

The employer should not be able to fire you for being pregnant, unless you have some type of provisional employment arrangement or signed something to the contrary — for example, something related to not being able to complete the orientation. Either way I would suggest you consult a nurse attorney to protect and understand your rights in this situation. Find a nurse attorney through referral from The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (www.taana.org) or your state chapter of the American Nurses Association (www.nursingworld.org), whether or not you are a member.

You also should contact your state labor board to see what your rights are in the state where you are employed. Do an Internet search to find your state labor board.

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://www.Nurse.com/Events.