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Working Beyond Scheduled Shifts

Over the past several years, we have received an unacceptable number of complaints from our members regarding the inability to leave at the end of their scheduled shift. We understand that you are being coerced into working shifts as long as 24 hours, under the guise of “patient abandonment”. Whether this is due to foreseeable or unforeseeable circumstances, the result can lead to an unsafe working environment and/or unsafe patient care. Neither is acceptable!

Registered Nurses are governed by the Nurses Act (1984, amended in 1997 & 2002) (the “Act”), the Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses (the “Code”) and the Nurses Association of New Brunswick (“NANB”), as their licensing body. As registered professionals, you must be allowed to exercise your judgement on your own fitness to practice. The Code provides that:

Nurses maintain their fitness to practice. If they are aware that they do not have the necessary physical, mental or emotional capacity to practise safely and competently, they withdraw from the provision of care after consulting with their employer …

Given the seriousness of this issue, we have collaborated with NANB to produce a safety package, which includes:

1. Guidelines for working beyond scheduled shifts ENG FINAL; and

2. Letter re-Concern about Safety to Work beyond a Scheduled Shift.

This package has been provided to employers as well; we hope this will serve to educate all parties about their rights and obligations.

Click here: Working Beyond Scheduled Shifts Safety Package

If you have any questions, please contact your labour relations officer.


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