Nosal-Tabor v. Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center: Wrongful Termination & Workplace Retaliation

As a healthcare employer, you are required to ensure you properly implement policies and procedures that are in accordance with the Nursing Practice Act (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 2700 et seq.). In particular, the NPA allows nurses to perform certain functions designated as the “practice of medicine” so long as they are prescribed pursuant to a hospital’s standardized procedures (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 2725 subd. (c).).

The Board of Registered Nursing and the Medical Board of California provide guidelines that govern the content of such procedures, and hospitals must operate in accordance with these guidelines. The standardized procedures must contain specific elements and are required to be adopted by the organization prior to being implemented. If a hospital’s policies and procedures are not clearly defined and exercised as required, this can result in nurses engaging in the illegal practice of medicine.

This particular issue was addressed in Nosal-Tabor v. Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center1.  In Nosal-Tabor, the California Court of Appeals overturned the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant, Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center. The California Court of Appeals ruled that a jury could find in favor of the plaintiff nurse, Karen Nosal-Tabor, for wrongful termination and workplace retaliation. Read on to learn more about the case and how to protect your organized health care system from being sued.