Ripples: A Conversation with Amanda Trujillo (Part 1 of 3)

by Nursetopia on January 31, 2012

Amanda Trujillo via Twitter

I know there are people who have read and read and read about Amanda Trujillo. In fact, there are so many great posts, I don’t know who to link to so you can see them all. Be sure to check out The Nerdy Nurse, Those Emergency Blues, Emergiblog, iCoachNurses, Nurse Ratched’s Place, and Vern Dutton’s page. There are a plethora of links between those fabulous blogs.

Still, there are many who have no idea what is happening in Arizona. You can read Amanda’s story in her own words; please, do. I spoke with Amanda via telephone for over an hour, listening to her tell her story and asking questions. The many subsequent posts are for Amanda as well as inspired by her. I thank her for sharing her time and story with me so I can share it with you in hopes you will share it with others. This must stop.

* * * * *

Imagine you come in for a “routine” 12-hour night shift. Everyone is stable, and one of your patients is scheduled for a facility transfer in the morning for an organ transplant evaluation. Should be a slow night. When you assess the organ transplant eval patient, though, you find the patient really has no clue what’s happening – doesn’t even understand the disease process, medications, or future plan of care, including what the process is for organ transplant and recovery.

As any prudent nurse would do, you provide education to your patient, including information about hospice. When the patient asks more about hospice, you tell the patient a case manager can help provide more in-depth information about hospice and what all occurs with that process. You then activate a case management consult via a nurse-led order in the electronic medical record system.

Now imagine you come in the following evening, hear about the fit the physician threw when he found out the patient was no longer considering the organ transplant and then speak with your nurse director, only to end in termination – without any previous write-ups or counseling sessions – for going beyond your scope of practice and ordering a medical order. (That’s right – a case management consult.) Not only are you losing your job, but oh, yes, your organization – Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center in Amanda’s case – is reporting you to the Board of Nursing for going beyond your scope of practice. And, through a series of unfortunate events during the Board’s investigation, they decide you need psychoanalysis.

Your state nursing association isn’t interested in advocating for you – maybe because your license is under investigation and there are legal ramifications* or maybe because the board president is a director at your former employer. Maybe a bit of both? (*State Boards of Nursing are, after all, charged with protecting the public and investigating all concerns brought forward to them.)


Except Amanda Trujillo cannot wake up; it’s a very real situation for her. She’s a masters-prepared nurse working on her DNP. She’s knowledgeable, eloquent and passionate about nursing and quality patient care. She “gets” professional nursing, transformational change, and advocacy. I know of many organizations who would clamor to have her as an associate and nurse leader; yet, no one wants to hire her because she’s under investigation…for a case management consult that angered a demanding physician.

Amanda Trujillo’s situation impacted the surface of our profession, making tiny ripples. Tomorrow I’ll discuss those ripples building into waves and more.

* * * * * * *

There are numerous ways to support Amanda Trujillo, RN, MSN. Join the Nurse Up Facebook page. Donate to her cause. (Remember, no nursing advocacy organization is currently standing with her.) Share her story with your nursing colleagues and local media outlets.


Cowboy Collins RN February 2, 2012 at 9:07 am

I’m not sure I could be as professional as Amanda. I think I would have called that doctor out and beat him down. It’s disgusting to hear of such wrong doing towards a nurse and towards nursing itself. All because some pompas jerk is throwing a tantrum. Who is this doctor and where does he practice. I’d love to do a little research on him and his practice. Just another doc who didn’t get hugged enough by his mom now being affected by his God complex. Sad little man. Stay strong Amanda.

Penelope Rock February 6, 2012 at 1:29 am

“Amanda Trujillo‚Äôs situation impacted the surface of our profession, making tiny ripples.”

I agree. The situation of Nurse Amanda is a a beginning, a tiny ripple that have a great probability to become a great wave if we really study her case.

Thanks for sharing,
Peny@Nurse Up for Nurse Amanda!

Andrew Lopez, RN April 27, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Thank you for following Amanda’s case, this is the latest. Do you mind if I post updates as they come out on existing Amanda posts?

The War Against Amanda Trujillo, April 25, 2012, Mother Jones, RN, Nurse Ratched’s Place:”I still support Amanda Trujillo and some people who have read the allegations against Amanda have questioned my judgment. Frankly, I don’t believe these allegations because I personally know two other nurses who have been reported to their nursing boards by their former employers. One of my friends was reported to the BON after she spoke up about unsafe nursing practices at a shady nursing home, and the other was reported after he chastised hospital administration for placing psychiatric patients and staff in an unsafe environment. Their former employers cooked up all kinds of false allegations against my friends who are both stellar nurses. Their former employers crucified their character, but in the end they were both cleared of any wrongdoing by their respective state nursing boards. There is an escalating pattern of abuse as more unscrupulous employers are using nursing boards as the ultimate scare tactic to keep nurses “in their place. ” Amanda is just another victim of this ploy.”

Andrew Lopez, RN May 20, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Thank you for following Amanda’s case, this is from

Fired for educating a patient?, May 2012:”On February 1, the Phoenix CBS affiliate KPHO-TV ran a short but good item by Peter Busch about veteran local nurse Amanda Trujillo, who said she had been fired by Banner Del Webb Hospital and had a complaint filed against her with the state board of nursing because she had educated a patient about the risks of an upcoming surgery and scheduled a consult about hospice. A hospital spokesman reportedly said that “the doctor, ultimately, is the focal point that directs care for patients” and that “company policy” forbids nurses to order a case management consult. The report does not mention other accounts suggesting that these events were set in motion because the patient’s surgeon was displeased that the patient had decided against the surgery.”

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