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Asked to cover extra shift

My manager asked me to stay and cover the next shift because the nurse who was scheduled to work the shift has called in sick. Because of my other commitments, I am not able to stay for the next shift. Is it considered abandonment if I don’t pick up the extra shift?

No. Refusing to work an extra shift or overtime is not considered abandonment. This type of situation is not what clause 1 (5) (discontinuation of services) in the Nursing Act defines as professional misconduct. However, depending on the context and facts of a particular situation, nurses can be found guilty of professional misconduct under one of the other clauses in the Nursing Act.

Abandonment occurs when a nurse who has accepted an assignment decides to discontinue care without:

  • getting the client’s permission
  • arranging a suitable alternative or replacement service, or
  • allowing a reasonable opportunity for alternative or replacement services to be provided.

After accepting an assignment, a nurse who discontinues services without meeting one or more of the above conditions could be found guilty of professional misconduct by the College.

For more information, read Refusing Assignments and Discontinuing Nursing Services.

Page last reviewed August 11, 2017