For a travel nurse, being blacklisted is one of the worst-case scenarios. You would think that to avoid this label you just have to be an overall good nurse. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. There is an ugly truth to why hospitals blacklist travel nurses. This ominous listing puts fear into many nurses, but even if you do become blacklisted, it’s not the end of the world. Below we’ll take a good look at the nursing blacklist and what it all entails.
The Nursing Blacklist Truth
What is a Nursing Blacklist?
In the industry, being blacklisted is labeled as Do Not Send (DNS), Do Not Use (DNU), or Do Not Call (DNC). However, if you’re labeled, it may not be the end of the world. Bans can extend to an agency, a hospital, or a whole hospital system. They can also be permanent or temporary, which can last up to one year and are often due to failed examinations, more specifically the PBDS or the EKG. These bans are usually six months to a year. After that, you can apply to work within the hospital system again. Shortly, we’ll go over a variety of reasons that you might end up of the nursing blacklist.
Why Travel Nurses Are Blacklisted
The whole idea of travel nurse blacklisting is to protect an agency or a hospital from incompetent nurses. Makes perfect sense, right? Reasons could be as small as not following simple procedures, to major medication errors. However, sometimes a facility chooses to blacklist a nurse for the sole reason of avoiding the cancellation fee of a travel nurse contract. Sure it’s unethical, but the unfortunate truth is that it is not unheard of. Another reason a hospital might blacklist a nurse is if a travel nurse’s contract is cancelled. That’s why we recommend to healthcare facilities to use other measures to prevent cancellations. This can include creating shorter contracts, moving travel nurses who need to be closer to home, and letting travel nurses know what is expected up front. We know that illnesses and emergencies happen. That’s life, and your agency knows that. Talk to them if you must cancel, just know that you may be banned from that facility.
What To Do If You’re DNUed
If you’ve been blacklisted, first and foremost, keep calm. Sit down with your agency to evaluate the situation. Sometimes hospitals provide a report on their decision. However, these reports are rare, and travel nurses are often left in the dark. Which is unfortunate because how will they ever learn from their mistakes? Another thing you can do is to reach out to your travel nurse recruiter and have them ask the facility why you ended up on the nursing blacklist. Either way, agencies tend to have at least some information on the matter. They often evaluate the situation to decide whether or not to place a DNU themselves.
However unorthodox it may be, if you feel you’ve been unjustifiably blacklisted, you could contact the proper supervisors of the facility to appeal it. The absolute best way to protect yourself in this situation is to have a spotless work record. You should also have a solid list of references to back you up. After all, actions speak louder than words.
Definitely, do your research and talk to your agency if and when you’re blacklisted. One travel nurse made headlines when she recently decided to speak up about her ban. For a lack of better words, it got ugly. It is unclear whether she quit because of the conditions of the hospital or she was blacklisted then decided to fight back. If the former, it’s a commendable thought. And we certainly cannot blame her for feeling so strongly about it. It’s a no brainer that a hospital needs proper staffing. Whatever the case may be, things would be a lot easier if she had hard evidence to back up her claims.
At the end of the day, even if you wind up on the nursing blacklist, there should still be thousands of other assignments available to you. Just take a moment to relax and realize that everything will be okay. If you have a nursing blacklist experience that you’d like to share, feel free to comment it below! Also, if you’re on the hunt for your next travel nursing assignment, make sure to check out the thousands of jobs we have to offer!