According to the American Nurses Association, Nurses have the “professional right to accept, reject or object in writing to any patient assignment that puts patients or themselves at serious risk for harm. Registered Nurses have the professional obligation to raise concerns regarding any patient assignment that puts patients or themselves at risk for harm.”
In short, Nurses are empowered to say “no” when management puts our patients at risk by violating safe staffing laws. Here are some articles that explain this right—and how to claim it.
“Unfortunately, many nurses – and many leaders — will answer the question with some form of “suck it up and do the best you can.” And while I know that questioning an assignment, let alone refusing it, is hard, this is exactly what you must consider doing.” —Nurse Guidance
When an Assignment is Unsafe (via Nurse Guidance)
The scenarios described in this quick read might sound too familiar to Nurses that work in chronically understaffed hospitals. But fear not Nurse Guidance has you covered with great tips on what to do when it’s time to say “I refuse.”
California Code Regs Disciplinary Action for Nurses
There are laws that protect Nurses so we can practice our profession ethically. Know the Codes!
Moral Resilience: Managing and Preventing Moral Distress and Moral Residue
Moral resilience is defined by the author of this paper as “the ability and willingness to speak and take right and good action in the face of an adversity that is moral/ethical in nature.” Nurses that say no to unsafe assignments need plenty of this.