nursing whistleblower suit?


New Member
I have worked as an RN at a nursing home for about 3 years.
typically the unit I work on has 2 nurses for 30 patients. Today I went to work and was informed that I would be working the unit by myself from now on. Since we are short on help my company usually uses a staffing agency when we are short, so I suspect the reduction from 2 nurses to 1 nurse is due to a budget issue. these places are always saying they don't make money. Yeah, sure.
At any rate I refused to take the assignment. I contacted my supervisor over text and told them that I can't provide safe care for 30 patients. I received no response. So after an hour I went home but first told them I would come back to work if they got another nurse or I would work another unit. Shortly thereafter I get a text from the administrator. She asked why I refused the assignment and I told her my reasons. She then goes on to say that they are within staffing guidelines and therefore I quit without notice by refusing the assignment.
here is the thing; there is no nurse/patient ratio. It all goes on "licensed staff" which also includes nursing assistants(CENAs) so in theory they could have 1 nurse for 200 patients so long as they had enough "licensed staff"
I told her its not safe, last weekend that very same unit in 1 day had 2 falls and one patient with dementia elope from the building and he was found on the sidewalk next to the main road....all that with 2 nurses.
So basically they are saying I quit to try and get out of an unemployment claim, its just a word game. I have already filed a claim but have also gotten my resume updated and applied for a couple jobs.
The American Nurses Act states that I have a duty to refuse an unsafe assignment and to notify management of unsafe conditions.
I did just that and I was fired.
So 2 quesions:
Do I have a whistleblower lawsuit?
Do I have a valid unemployment claim?
I have been a good employee for 3 years, no disciplinary actions, no issues, good annual reviews.
Do I have a whistleblower lawsuit?

Maybe not. You would have had to have filed a complaint with a regulatory agency and then been retaliated against, or have been fired for complaining to management. But you weren't fired, you walked off the job.

Do I have a valid unemployment claim?

Possibly. Having been through the appeals process myself, if you can convince the UC folks that you had good cause to quit, you might be eligible but you may have to go through the appeal levels if you get turned down at the starting gate.

I suggest you start researching the topic:

michigan unemployment quitting for good cause at DuckDuckGo

As for the licensing issue, I suggest you report your former employer to the state licensing board.
Seems like something that might be part of whatever serves to be the state's nurse's licensing law. Just guessing. I didn't look.
Seems like something that might be part of whatever serves to be the state's nurse's licensing law. Just guessing. I didn't look.

I searched for a Michigan specific law with that name, too, and came up empty. I wasn't surprised at that since it would be unusual for a state to title a law the American Nurses Act, as that sounds more like a national law that Congress would pass. States usually put their state name in acts like that.