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Nursing: You Wanna Know What I Think?

Flu Vaccine Incident Making Me Angry -- Even in Retirement!

Published January 9, 2013 8:12 AM by Pat Veitenthal

I knew I would always care about nursing, but I really didn’t think that I would get as riled up about stuff now that I’m retired. Oh, did I mention that? Finally, after 44 long years working in hospitals, I retired December 31st, 2012. And I turned 62 yesterday. Hello Social Security and AARP, goodbye The Joint Commission and satisfaction scores. I was all ready to sit back and say, sorry, not my problem, UNTIL I read this story from ABC news about a nurse getting fired for refusing the flu vaccine.

Read it carefully. There’s a little more to it. I thought my head would explode by the time I finished the article. First of all, it appalls me that an RN’s 22 year career at the same facility can hinge on something as personal as choosing not to take a flu shot. It is also ludicrous that her hospital would use that as a reason to terminate an experienced critical care nurse. Did you notice the word “veteran?” That’s who the hospital fired for not taking the shot. Veteran nurses. Veteran is merely another word for expensive. Do they really think we’re too stupid to know that? I hope these nurses sue for wrongful termination, because I believe they would win. I hope someone, some organization, or just some wonderful law firm will finance this case, because no one, especially nurses, should be treated this way!


posted by Pat Veitenthal


I am incensed because of the double standards hospitals are applying. The flu shot is mandatory for nurses but only 'encouraged' for physicians at my facility. I understand they are not employees but certainly their privileges could be suspended if they didn't get the flu shot. Of course hospitals 'caring about pt safety' stops when the money stream is affected.

Kelly, RN February 10, 2013 11:41 AM
Las Vegas NV

As a retired RN with 37 yrs in the field, I too was appalled by the firing of a nurse who refused to have a FLU shot...Since when does an employer have rights over the body of an employee? this is why nurses find it necessary to join Unions to fight such ludicris demands/ requirements... I would hope the RN would seek legal counsel & get reinstated to her position. We nurses need to write to the Board of nursing, our Congressman and Hospital Administrators to show our distress with such policies.

Judith, RN January 16, 2013 3:21 PM

Did all the other nurses get the flu *** by now ...

Donna D January 10, 2013 1:25 PM

I knew when I read the article, and then shared it, You would be one that would get fired up as well as myself.  I know we arent alone in our feelings.  I wonder what excuse will be used next to terminate 'veteran' Nurses.  The sad thing is it is the patients that will suffer without her expertise.

Susie, RN January 9, 2013 1:28 PM
Front Royal VA

Well Ryan, you tell her that every nurse I know is rooting for her. She got a raw deal, and I hope she can find the assistance she will need to fight it. Let me know if there is a legal fund set up, and I will certainly donate!!

Pat Vee January 9, 2013 12:32 PM

Ethel is a freind of mine - known her all my life. She was highly regarded there - they lost a fabulous nurse

Ryan January 9, 2013 9:05 AM

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About this Blog

    Pat Veitenthal, BSN, RN
    Occupation: Per diem nursing supervisor and cruise ship nurse
    Setting: Community hospital and cruise ships
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