In the mix: Nurses fired over missing work during blizzard

Stressed Out Nurses Weekly, March 8, 2010

A Washington DC hospital's decision to fire 21 hospital employees—15 of whom were nurses—for missing work during the blizzards that occurred between Feb. 5 and Feb. 11 has drawn attention from Nurses United of the National Capital Region and the American Nurses Association (ANA), reports Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media.

The dismissals at Washington Hospital Center, the largest private nonprofit hospital in the DC area, have generated widespread controversy. Nurses United of the National Capital Region has filed a grievance which in part points to the hospital's policy that states employees would not be dismissed during a declared emergency. More than 40 inches of snow fell during that week, and hospital officials provided transportation for nurses, and alerted staff members that they may need to stay overnight at the hospital, according to HealthLeaders Media.

The ANA stated that it is unheard of for a hospital to fire nurses for failing to report to work because of prohibitive weather conditions. An ANA official described the hospital's actions as "quite damaging to the morale of nurses."

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