Tsunami: A Conversation with Amanda Trujillo (Part 3 of 3)

by Nursetopia on February 2, 2012

You can read Amanda’s story in her own words; please, do.  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.

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Amanda nailed this situation during our call when she said, “This is bigger than me.” She explained her actions – reaching out to colleagues via emails and social media – is not about revenge or getting even with any organization. She understands the Arizona Board of Nursing must investigate her because she was reported, however, the reason she was reported – a case management consult construed as a medical order – is the bothersome part. “We all make mistakes, realize them, use them to change, give thanks for them, and move on. If I had done something wrong, I could take it. If I had done something wrong.”

Amanda’s story is a ripple culminating in a tsunami of change and ideas and discussions. When asked what she’d like other nurses to know, she provided three thoughts:

1. Don’t be afraid to speak up when you see your patients in danger. “If we lose that, we lose the foundational fabric of our profession.” She’s right. Nurses are patient advocates, possibly the last advocate the patient has nearby, often advocating behind the scenes where patients and families do not even see or know. Amanda encourages every nurse to be familiar with the Nursing Code of Ethics, to make it more than a school textbook. Keep it at your side, and use it in daily nursing practice. Amanda admits, “It’s not easy standing up for the patient.” No, no it’s not, especially in light of Amanda’s current situation. Still, it’s our duty and moral obligation to do so.

2. Stop bullying each other. “Nurses have to stop the back-stabbing. When we tear each other down, we diminish our profession.” Without a doubt, it’s the part of nursing culture that is starting to move out of the shadows. It wasn’t until a few years ago when we started talking about bullying within our profession. We must make serious strides toward improvement, and it will take each and every one of us working together to accomplish such an insidious culture shift.

3. One person can make a difference. It happens every day. “It’s the ripple effect,” Amanda pointed out so appropriately (and so inspired this blog series titles). “Sometimes you have to do the scary things to make a difference.” True. Nursing is full of scary moments, few of which I ever thought would be related to educating patients or asking for a case manager to speak to a patient. Still, one person is powerful. It only takes one person – one – to change a patient’s outcome.

Astute suggestions in the face of adversity. I expect nothing less from my nursing colleague. Her words ring in my ears. I hope they linger in yours, as well.

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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.


novice nurse April 1, 2012 at 9:56 pm

I was wondering whether you’ve read the Arizona State Board of Nursing’s Notice of Charges against Trujillo, and whether this has changed your opinion on the matter – specifically your call to action for donations to her cause?

Nursetopia April 1, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Hi, Novice Nurse. I believe I’ve read the notice of charges. Just to be certain we’re talking about the same thing, will you please send a link to the exact statement to which you’re referring?

If it’s what I’m thinking, no it doesn’t change my perspective about donations to her cause.

Thanks for engaging in discussion. Have a great week!

Andrew Lopez, RN April 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm

On the topic of the charges against Amanda, we took a poll on them. Are you on Facebook? If not I’ll copy it to our forums:


Andrew Lopez, RN April 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Thank you for following Amanda’s case, here is the latest:

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.”

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