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Can NY nurses face reprimands for refusing flu shots?

A New York hospital recently suspended all nurses who failed to get their flu shot. The hospital has stated that those who continue to refuse to get a flue vaccination could lose their job.

Can the hospital demand nurses get a flu shot?

Disputes between healthcare workers and hospital administration over mandatory vaccination policies are not a new issue. Stories are present of similar conflicts dating back decades. When these disputes arise, there are instances hospital staff finds a compromise that works and others where the dispute reaches an impasse. In these situations, there are cases of hospitals firing nurses who have refused to abide by the policy.

What is the basis of this dispute?

In this most recent case, the hospital states the requirement is part of a new hospital policy. According to a representative of the New York State Nursing Association, such policies in the state are not common.

Is there another option?

In the past, similar policies have required those who refuse the flu vaccine to instead follow a masking protocol. This generally involves changing a mask with every patient contact to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Hospital administrators counter the best way to keep patients safe from potentially life-threatening diseases like the flu is to implement mandatory vaccination policies.

What if a nurse is facing a reprimand for allegedly failing to follow a hospital policy?

This is just one example of a hospital policy that can result in conflict. Nurses who find themselves accused of going up against hospital policies have options. An attorney experienced in the legal issues faced by nurses can review your case.