Floating — 5.6 of your contract requires that nurses who are asked to float be properly trained and oriented. One might ask, So this is a crisis, isn’t any nurse better than no nurse?” The answer may be no. Your oblig­a­tions under the nurse practice act to practice to the standard of care are not waived during this crisis. Whether or not a dangerous floating condi­tion exists will be different for everyone so some of these links may be helpful as you make decisions about your practice:

https://​www​.doh​.wa​.gov/​p​o​r​t​a​l​s​/​1​/​D​o​c​u​m​e​n​t​s​/​6​0​0​0​/​Q​s​O​f​Assign.pdf

https://​fortress​.wa​.gov/​d​o​h​/​o​p​i​n​i​o​/​s​?​s​=​D​e​cisionTree

https://​www​.doh​.wa​.gov/​p​o​r​t​a​l​s​/​1​/​D​o​c​u​m​e​n​t​s​/​6​0​0​0​/​J​o​b​Titles.pdf


If I decide I must refuse a dangerous assign­ment, what should I do? You may have to make a decision about accepting an assign­ment involving abnor­mally dangerous condi­tions that pose an imminent risk to your safety and health, and could poten­tially cause serious injury or death. If you are a WSNA member and you accept an abnor­mally dangerous assign­ment, fill out an ADO to document that you are accepting an assign­ment despite objection.

If you have already accepted the assign­ment, your profes­sional license may be at risk if you fail to continue that assign­ment, unless you have handed off the assign­ment and have been relieved of respon­si­bility for the patient. If you decide to refuse the assign­ment, you should remain at the workplace and offer to perform other work that does not pose an imminent risk to your safety and health (e.g., an assign­ment for which you are provided proper safety equip­ment and training).

A decision to refuse an assign­ment could result in disci­pli­nary action taken against you by the employer. Under collec­tive bargaining agree­ments between employers and WSNA, there must be just cause” for any disci­pline. If you are repre­sented by WSNA for collec­tive bargaining, we would defend you if you are subjected to unjust disci­pline, but resolu­tion of any such disci­pline would likely be delayed and the outcome may be uncer­tain as a result of the current national and state emergency declarations.


Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Repre­sen­ta­tive Sara Frey at sfrey@wsna.org.