RN lost Team Leading role for standing up for patient rights & the law

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Can you help me or direct me where to go? Thanks Nurse penalized for standing up for her rights as a nurse, patient advocate and the Law

I am currently an RN @ a hospital in Northern California, on January 5, 2004, I arrived at work to find myself & co-workers in an "unsafe" working environment that could have had the potential of risking my license as an RN and the safety of the patients.

Yes, currently the hospital is overflowing with patients and we are experiencing a nursing shortage. We do take pride in offering excellent SAFE care to our patients.

However, on this particular night, I found myself, the Team Leader, and the rest of my co-workers, 2 others RN's responsible for 21 patients, 2 of which would be fresh post-op patients coming out of surgery. 2 other patients just being transferred out of ICU with Multiple trauma injuries, 1 patient requiring 2 units of blood, which would require additional monitoring along with the other patients on the floor. The ratio would be 7:1. Not only does the law now state 6:1, but anyone who is in the Medical field would know that the above situation is not safe and at high risk for something to happen. I, the Team Leader, along with the other 2 nurses objected to this assignment. Nursing Administration was contacted and no solution was given or offered at the time of the call. It wasn't until I made a phone call to the CEO, who I had seen sitting in his office when I arrived at work, that we suddenly received relief, another Nurse was coming to the rescue.

The following day, I was called at home by my manager, informing me, that I would no longer be the Team Leader. This is the punishment I must pay for standing up for my rights as a Nurse, the safety of my patients, and the Law that was just passed. My message to all nurses is do not give up, fight hard for what you believe in, protect patients and provide them with the care that you were given the gift to provide. I took a chance, I lost my privilege of being the Team Leader, but I would take that risk again if it meant saving a life, providing proper care and protecting my license. Robyn Nickels, RN Palo Cedro, Ca 530-547-5750 home number

-- Robyn Lynne Nickels (rrnickels@aol.com), February 04, 2004

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