advertise with us find a job post your topic join the community log in
Visitor Topics
Can I Refuse an Assignment?

I'm a new grad working in a nursing home/rehab. I've been there 4 months and I feel like everyday they seem to forget that this is all new to me.

I've been scolded for practically everything I do or don't do. They've told me, in not so direct terms, that I should take on the nursing supervisors job if need be simply becuase I'm an RN. I've been handed 17 patient assignments on floors where you're only supposed to have 10 patients. I feel so overwhelmed here but no one seems to care, they just keep treating me like I'm a verteran nurse like the rest of them. Is it possible for me to refuse assignments, especially the supervisors assignment, if I feel it's unsafe? Is there anything I can do to get these people to treat me like what I am, a new nurse?


Read more Visitor Topics articles

10 Responses to “Can I Refuse an Assignment?”

  1. Dawn Says:

    Unfortunately nursing homes/rehabs are very demanding. Turnover is huge and being an RN means more responsibility. I sympathize with you. If you are not comfortable with your situation my advice is to talk to the DON. I am afraid that if you refuse the DON may let you go or the staff might turn their backs on you. Voice your concerns to the DON. Speak up for yourself and hopefully things will work out. If not there are always other jobs. Being a nurse there are so many different specialties that you can keep exploring until you find your nitch.

  2. Jerry Says:

    Look up the Safe Harbor Act. Yes you can refuse an assignment and your employer cannot retaliate

  3. Jason R. Thrift Says:

    I hate to say it but Safe Harbor might work once, but ultimately who would you tell it to? It’s unfortunate the way new nurses are treated, but it’s the nature of nursing. What’s being done to you was done to your supervisor when they began and your director when they began. Honestly, the practice is to weed out the one’s that will bring the rest down, although no one would ever truly say or mean that, but that’s how it works. If they see that you can’t handle it, but then you continue to come to work and try with all your might, they know you’ll learn how the system ultimately works. Beginning nursing, to so many, is a rite of passage that you must overcome and succeed at. Refusing only gets you one thing, FIRED. Plain and simple. That does stay with you everytime you apply at a new position somewhere else. Unfortunately, your best course of action, if you feel you are being treated unfairly, is to quietly find a new job somewhere else, while performing your duties there and leave on good terms. You want to do that even if things are going great and you simply want advancement. Probably not the answer you want to hear, but it’s the truth.

  4. Liz Says:

    Don’t risk overwhelming yourself and possibly making a mistake that could mess up your career or even cost you your license. I would strongly suggest looking for employment elsewhere. There are too many other opportunities available to RNs to be somewhere where you feel so unhappy and your career is in jeopardy. Its not fair to you or the patients. During your job search inquire employers about the orientation period and check out how many nurses work on that unit. Don’t trust any nurse to patient ratios they promise you. Do the math yourself by finding out how many nurses work there and how many beds are in the unit. Good luck, I wish you the best.

  5. cheri Says:

    Welcome to Hell. (This is how I greet all new nurses in our facility.) Your position is not unique. I’ve survived for 10 years at my job by experimenting with working different shifts and dropping to part time status to keep from becoming a derranged lunatic. Trust me when I say things will never improve. Don’t listen to management, they lie. Take a new job in a different type of nursing setting. As for me, I’m burning my nursing liscence the day I graduate from college with a new (non-nursing) degree.

  6. Nik Says:

    I’m also new to the profession so I can understand where you are coming from. In spite of all our long hours and clinical training we are still new nurses and our skills are limited. I think it is dangerous to your license and the patients to take on an huge patient ratio. Some hospitals offer a 6 month transition from student to professional nurse and I think a program like this is a great place to start. I’m new to nursing but not to experience. I would only accept a job that would cover me and allow a safer ratio.

  7. Sukie Says:

    Unfortunately it’s only going to get worse. The economy is changing and it is affecting how health care is handled. More and more will be expected now with less help. Either get used to it or get out now. Start looking at other career options. Nursing will NEVER be the same. We have been forewarned at my hospitals already. We will NEVER EVER be better due to the horrific changes coming through due to the economy and the change in the healthcare system. Younger nurses: get going on your education, look at other careers. I’m too old yet not old enough to retire. I’m in one pickle for sure! My advice to my students is to forewarn and prepare them.

  8. socretes3 Says:

    Something else to consider is going to the State Board of Medicine in your state. I’m in Oklahoma, and ours also has a separate Board of Nursing, and I’m sure all states have a similar department. Our Board of Nursing puts the legal limits on how many nurses (ie, RNs, LPNs, and CNAs) you have to have depending on the patient load. If you have too many patients for the amount of nursing staff you have, it’s up to your facility to call agency nurses to take some of the load off. Too many patients per RN is unsafe and illegal.

  9. socretes3 Says:

    For example, I worked as an aid at a very small rural hospital. Based on the number of beds we had, we were legally required to have 2 RNs, 2 LPNs, and 4 CNAs on the evening shift MINIMUM, plus a separate nurse for the ER, and a PA had to be available at all times. If we were full to capacity, they would add to the number of staff accordingly.

  10. JeannieF Says:

    Has anyone tried acupuncture? My doctor recommended it but I’m really nervous about it.

    Any tips? Any dangers I should know about?


Leave a Reply

search realityrn

sign up for weekly cartoons, tips, and blog posts
first name
last name

Register to win a pair of RX Medical Silver Fox Crocs

Nursing Jobs