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Do I have any recourse if I've been discharged for following a doctor’s direct order?

Monday March 3, 2014
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Dear Donna,

What if you get discharged for following a doctor’s direct order?

Discharged for Following a Doctor’s Order,
via Facebook

Dear Donna replies:

Discharged for Following a Doctor’s Order,

If you believe you have been wrongly terminated, you should advocate for yourself. Your license, your livelihood and your reputation could be at stake.

Depending on when you were discharged, you might be able to file a grievance with the employer to protest the action. Check with the human resources department at your facility for the procedure (and time frame) to do that.

Whether you can file a grievance or not, you should consider consulting a nurse attorney for advice and support. Some nurses mistakenly think consulting an attorney is an admission of wrongdoing. On the contrary, a nurse attorney will advise you of your rights, give you an opinion on whether you have a case, advocate for you and support you in taking legal action if warranted.

Find a nurse attorney by asking around, getting a referral through your state chapter of the American Nurses Association (www.ana.org) or through The American Association of Nurse Attorney’s (www.taana.org). You can get referrals from either association whether you are a member or not.

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.