There are cases where nurses feel the need to go on strike. For example, roughly 3,500 nurses are on strike in New York. This has made things difficult for the hospitals, but nurses are trying to fight for the conditions they want in the medical centers.
What you may be wondering is if this causes problems for the patients, and if that means that it’s a reason for a nurse to lose his or her license. Would this count as abandonment of a patient? Does going on strike come with the risk of ending a career?
Proper steps must be followed
Generally speaking, no, a nurse is not going to lose their license for striking. Many nurses are part of unions, and these unions do have the ability to strike. It’s not a violation of the oath they took or the license they have obtained.
However, they do need to make sure they take the right steps first or it could be considered patient abandonment. Usually, this means that they have to give notice around 10 days before going on strike. The hospital then has time to make adjustments or patients can try to find other care elsewhere.
If a nurse simply walked off the job without warning, then they could be charged with abandonment of patients that they were supposed to be caring for. They may later claim that they were going on strike, but that is not the correct way to do so, and they could face ramifications. If they do follow the right steps, though, there is nothing problematic with striking from a licensing perspective.
Nurses who are worried about their license definitely need to be sure that they understand all of the rights.