A visual representation of what hospital administration is demanding of these nurses. Credits:

Alizah Hashmi, In-Depth Writer

Nurses are vital for the medical field and the efficient care of the public. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they were one of the many frontline workers that put their lives at risk for the betterment of their incoming patients. However, according to NBC News, many nurses nationwide are being charged withhefty bills upon their resignation. For individuals that are trying to make a livelihood and support their families, these bills, sums of thousands of dollars,   are too much for some to afford. 


A nurse checking the blood pressure of one of her patients. Credits:


Before nurses are employed by a private practice or hospital, they are required to undergo training to condition them to the type of work and environment they would experience on a day-to-day basis, apart from nursing school. These programs cost employers thousands of dollars but since they are gaining another employee to contribute to the profit of their business, the cost of these programs does not fall upon the employed nurses. 


However, the case of Nurse Jacqui Rum proved to be one of the many exceptions to this custom. According to NBC News, Rum worked at Los Robles Regional Medical Center. After experiencing horrible workplace conditions such as little to no breaks, excess workload, long shifts and overall burdening stress, she decided to resign from her position. However, upon her resignation, the Medical Center sent her a bill of $2,000. They stated that she needed to pay this difference back since she essentially broke their original contract for two years as she quit after 13 months. AOL states that Rum’s reasons for resigning were the excess physical and mental stress; the hospital’s staff at the time did not have enough nurses so she was not allowed a proper break during her 12-hour shifts. But this was not a viable excuse to hospital administrators. 



Besides the case of Rum, there have been many other reports of nurses that have tried to resign but have been presented with hefty bills. According to AOL, one nurse reported that she was provided a bill of $7,500 while another was charged $15,000 upon her resignation due to her original training during her employment phase; these fees are viewed as unnecessary by the nurses because the training that they are being charged for does not qualify them for the position any more than the training they received during nursing school. 


According to Yahoo, this is merely a business technique on the part of the hospital and its administration to make as much profit as possible while exploiting their overworked employees. If hospitals present nurses that try to resign with a high payment, they are most likely not able to pay the sum and thus end up staying. This threat of financial demise leaving these nurses caught in their mentally and physically exhausting jobs.. Sadly,  there seems no possibility for change in the next few years as in our society money holds greater meaning over human well-being. .