You know that you’re on the schedule at the hospital for another nursing shift. But you simply don’t feel up to it. Maybe you’re fatigued or burned out. Maybe you’re feeling sick. You decide that you’re not going in today, and you skip your shift.
Maybe you knew they wouldn’t give you last-minute time off or maybe you were out of sick days, so you simply decided not to go in. You know that there can be ramifications. Certainly, you could be fired by the hospital. Skipping your shift is something that they don’t expect of you as an employee.
But could they take it a step further? Could your whole career be in jeopardy because you might lose your nursing license?
You should generally not lose your license
It is true that things like patient neglect can lead to the loss of a nursing license. But this doesn’t necessarily refer to simply staying home from your shift. It refers more to situations where you are at work, you’re supposed to be taking care of someone, and you neglect to do the duties that are expected. Maybe you don’t give them the necessary modification and they have an adverse reaction, for instance.
However, if you skipped your shift at work, someone else should’ve been assigned to take care of the patients that you would have worked with that day. Your boss may say that you are “neglecting” the needs of the other staff, who had to cover for you, but there shouldn’t be a licensing issue. The biggest issue you would probably have is that the hospital is going to let you go and hire someone else to cover your position.
That being said, there are situations in which neglect could be alleged, such as if a nurse left their shift early while they were still supposed to be taking care of patients. If you’re worried that you may lose your license, be sure you know about all of the defense options you have.