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     Prepare a teaching presentation about nursing practices from 1990-1999 timeframe.
    • Choose a nursing action or intervention from this time period,
    • then choose a current action or intervention that evolved from this previous action
    • How it impacts the nursing profession or patient outcomes


Subject Nursing Pages 5 Style APA


Healthcare Whistleblower Protection Act

The Boards of Nursing and professional associations strongly believe that nursing practice must underline patient advocacy and the significance of the nurses’ responsibility in patient safety and protection. Although nurses are knowledgeable concerning advocacy and well-being, several have challenges steering workplace hindrances that restrict their advocacy role for patients. Hence, that is the reason a few states in the late 1990s, like Washington through the Washington state nurses’ association (WSNA), secured enactment of whistleblower laws. This paper discusses how the healthcare whistleblower law enacted by different states has evolved and impacted the nurse profession.

Current Action that has Evolved from Whistleblower Protection Law

Whistleblower regulations are meant to inhibit employers from taking disciplinary action against nurses like pestering, suspension, demotion or discharge for reporting improper patient care. Nurses mainly speak out against workplace circumstances that threaten patients and the workforce, and they require legal protection. With healthcare restructuring and its cost-cutting actions, nurses are frustrated as they endeavours to give quality patient care, whereas staffing levels, resources and funding are always insufficient (Hopp & Rittenmeyer, 2012). Therefore, as American Nurses Association’s (ANA) mandate, and state nurses’ associations foster robust whistleblower regulations on the state level that offer legal safeguards for nurses supporting patients, minus the fear of punishment. Currently, several states are expanding on their whistleblower protection laws through various enactments. In 2002, New York enforced laws that prohibit an employer from taking reciprocal acts against a worker who reveals to a supervisor or a public agency and action that comprise inappropriate care quality or declines to partake in that activity.

Likewise, the law creates a fund that comprises monies from civil penalties linked to this regulation to enhance patient care quality (Treas et al., 2018). During the COVID-19 pandemic, several healthcare professionals turned to social media to articulate their dissatisfactions concerning treating massive numbers of COVID-19 patients and the absence of personal protection equipment (PPEs) offered by their employers. Some of these postings became viral, hence convincing healthcare organizations to tackle their employees’ issues to satisfy the public protest of these viral posts. As a preventive method, hospitals across America have adopted a different method by amending their social media policies to muzzle the healthcare workforce from speaking out. Therefore, to battle, the increase of hospitals hampering their workforce from voicing concerns against working situations in reaction to COVID-19, the New York governor, Cuomo, authorized New York Senate Bill S8397-A. This law is a revision to New York Labor Law section 741 that extended the present whistleblower protection to safeguard the healthcare workforce from disciplinary action for making public grievances of employer breaches.

Section 741 amendment integrates a new description, “improper quality of workplace security”, which presently permits workers to make grievances regarding unsafe workplace setting or danger of worker safety or a considerable risk to a particular worker’s health. The amendment likewise prohibits revenge against any worker who releases grievances concerning the inappropriate quality of workplace security to the media or a social media platform. Also, Vermont state has protection for healthcare workers who report or decline to perform unlawful actions. Under Vermont law, Title 21, V.S.A., Sections 507 – 509, mandates hospitals and nursing homes to notify employees of their rights under the healthcare whistleblower protection law. In Nebraska, the Health and Human Services Department has a website and forms to fill-out online for healthcare employees reporting a workmate. Also, unlike before, the federal government currently have various whistleblower protection directives meant to safeguard worker against retaliation if they disclose illegal or unethical practices. For example, the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) give a worker the right to report insecure working situations to the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration minus dread of revenge. This can comprise an employer’s failure to give PPEs or to quarantine residents with COVID-19 from un-infected people appropriately.

How Whistleblower Protection Impacts the Nursing Profession

            Recently, Detroit Medical Center’s Huron Valley Sinai Hospital nurses disclosed dangerous failures in patient safety. This illustrates how some medical practitioners take their obligation of safeguarding patients (Jackson et al., 2010) seriously. Perhaps the most notable instances of whistle-blowing nurses occurred in 2009 in Winkler County, Texas. Two nurses reported a physician they trusted was giving risky clinical care, putting several patients in danger. The nurses asserted the physician utilized herbal remedies with patients and did a skin graft in the ER minus having surgical rights in the hospital. Also, those nurses were sacked for reporting the physicians and dealt with criminal indictments; however, they were subsequently vindicated. Lately, subtleties have arisen about hazardous patient conditions at VA hospitals countrywide. A considerable lot of these disclosures have happened because of whistleblowers. Even a law forthcoming in Congress named for one of them: The Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Act. Whenever endorsed into law, it would secure VA workers who report misbehaviour and other risky conditions from retribution.

            Kirkpatrick was a clinical therapist at the VA Clinical Center in Tomah, Wisconsin, who revealed that patients were over-medicated. An examination affirmed this. The hospital gave patients opioids two-and-a-half times the national standard.  Several susceptible veterans were casualties of this medical negligence that became public because of Dr. Kirkpatrick. Informants have additionally been liable for uncovering perilous failures in care at another VA medical clinic in Bedford, Massachusetts. One patient supposedly passed on while his nurse played computer games instead of keeping an eye on him. Patients at that clinic frequently deteriorated quickly in the wake of being admitted, and long-term care veterans were left in soiled garments or not fed for hours.


 The cases, patients and the public would not have known the unsafe conditions at the hospitals as discussed in the body of this paper. It was not for nurses and other clinical expert’s whistleblowing. Therefore, whistleblower protection has made healthcare professionals save patient lives by speaking out against medical malpractice.



Hopp, L., & Rittenmeyer, L. (2012). Introduction to evidence-based practises A practical guide for nursing. FA Davis.

Jackson, D., Peters, K., Andrew, S., Edenborough, M., Halcomb, E., Luck, L., & Wilkes, L. (2010). Understanding whistleblowing: qualitative insights from nurse whistleblowers. Journal of advanced nursing66(10), 2194-2201.

Treas, L. S., Wilkinson, J. M., Barnett, K. L., & Smith, M. H. (2018). Basic nursing: Thinking, doing, and caring. FA Davis Company.





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