January 27, 2012, 9:32 am

Banner Health Strikes Blow Against Patient Advocacy, Fires RN


So much of what I do as an ER nurse involves information.

As an RN, I am responsible for providing patients with information about their illness/injury, their medications and their follow up instructions.

Patient education is paramount; I find out what they know, then provide education to fill the gaps.

If they cannot access medications or follow up care, I provide information on how to access those needs.

That is called patient advocacy.

It’s the backbone of nursing, everywhere. Every hospital, every state, every country.


So you can imagine how confused I was to find out an Arizona nurse Amanda Trujillo, RN, MSN had been fired by Banner Health Del E. Webb Medical Center for doing exactly that, advocating for her patient by PROVIDING INFORMATION.

That’s right. Very simply: during a shift, she discovered a patient knew nothing about the details of a major invasive surgery. Not what the surgery entailed or what life would be like after the surgery (“complex lifetime daily care”). They did not know they had the option not have the surgery or that other options were available to them.

The patient requested further information and Ms. Trujillo provided it, including arranging for a case management consult, and documented all of this to the hilt (even the nurse investigator noted this).


The patient changed her mind, didn’t want the surgery. The doctor blew a gasket, threw a tantrum in the nurses station (sound familiar, nurses?), demanded Trujillo be fired, and her license revoked.

Bingo! Instead of supporting their nurse, Banner Health fired her.

For providing information and giving the patient the opportunity to learn more about their condition and their options.

For empowering her patient.

Within her scope of practice.

Within the nursing code of ethics.


As I said in my last post, I’m sputtering angry.

But my anger was turned onto the physician – and that is misplaced anger.

Let the doctor throw his anger all over the place, he will do what he will. If an empowered patient angers him, that’s just sad.

The problem here is Banner Health.

For not supporting patient advocacy.

For not supporting that particular patient’s right to decide.

For not supporting their nurses.

For firing a nurse for doing what she was supposed to be doing.

Her ethical duty.


Next post: this goes viral and how to support registered nurses’ right to advocate for patients.

Because next time, that patient could be you.


  • WA RN
    WA RN

    January 27, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Where is JC’s presence? They advocate for patient education; managing disruptive physicians and staff; including the patient in care decisions. There needs to be a firestorm to CMS, JC and any other HOSPITAL licensing agency. Is there need for a fund for legal representation for Ms Trujillo?

  • RehabRN

    January 27, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    The more I think about it, the more I realize that this is just exactly what injustice looks like (see definition here if you disagree: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/injustice)

    Injustice for the nurse, and injustice for the patient.

    When will we value people over money? Banner doesn’t seem like it valued Amanda, her patients, or anyone else it serves, as employer, hospital, healthcare organization.

  • Adrienne Zurub
    Adrienne Zurub

    January 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Kim, I agree the problem is with Banner Health.

    Banner Health needs to respect and uphold the scope of practice of Registered Nurses. Yet, it appears that Banner Health first has to be cognizant of the scope of practice and intrinsic advocacy of nursing practice.
    It begs the question: Is Banner Health touted as a Magnet faciliity aka ‘marketing ploy’?
    @RehabRN, injustice is exactly what it looks like!

  • Adrienne Zurub
    Adrienne Zurub

    January 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    For those who wish to contact Banner Health:


    I am writing to voice my disappointment and disgust over the injustice done to Amanda Trujillo, the RN, MSN, who was fired by Banner Health Del E. Webb Medical Center, for acting within her scope of practice, educating and advocating for her patient!

    This unjust firing begs the question: is Banner Health cognizant of the scope of practice and intrinsic advocacy of the practice of registered nursing? As well, does Banner Health respect the right of patients to participate in and make informed decisions regarding their health care choices and options? This is the 21st century.

    Patients may suffer an erosion of confidence in Banner Health. Furthermore, the rupture of nursing empowerment, patient advocacy and scope of practice appear to be endangered within Banner Health.

    The decision to fire this intelligent nurse needs to be thoughtfully reviewed. There should be overarching efforts to restore not only Ms. Trujillo’s position, but to vigorously uphold and support the practice and advocacy of registered nurses and nursing in all Banner Health facilities.

    Adrienne Zurub, RN, CNOR, CVOR

    ps., The circumstances of this firing of Ms. Trujillo are going viral on the internet. The injustice and lack of patient advocacy on the part of Banner Health is despicable.

  • Joan A. Waldron, RN, BA, MA, CMSRN, CRRN
    Joan A. Waldron, RN, BA, MA, CMSRN, CRRN

    January 31, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Are their own Nursing managers not Nurses? How can they not be familiar w/ the State Nurse Practice Act for AZ? This hospital may not be certified by The Joint Commission, but they surely are certified by some certifying body if they want Medicare reimbursement! This another case of the RN taking the fall for a doc who wasn’t practicing appropriately by fully education his patient(s) (if one of his patients isn’t completely educated about her condition, how many others are, do you think?) A transplant will generate a lot more income for him, and for the hospital. Of course it ‘messed up’ all their plans!

    Nurses will never be appreciated for what we are and what we do until we become a billable center – we are just seen as those bad nurses who cost the hospitals lots and lots of $$, complain all the time (about what we need and don’t have, to meet the patient’s care needs!) Non-nurses don’t realize that the reason patients are in hospitals is for NURSING care. If all they needed were doctors, they could go to their offices. If all they needed was PT or OT, there are wonderful out-patient services. Same w/ labs, radiology, MRIs, CTs, ECGs, just about everything. But hospital nurses provide the kind of skilled services which can’t be provided as well or even at all sometimes, at home! THAT’S why they are inpatients!

    I resigned from a hospital which had become like a police state. There was a clear ‘heads will role’ atmosphere present. The good Nurse Managers were either fired for trivial issues, set up, for made-up issues, or eventually left before they were driven out. They were replaced w/ managers who couldn’t keep a job elsewhere. My anger about repeated injustices reached the point where after 40 years in this institution (not all as an RN), I could not continue to work there. I have not resigned from Nursing, however. I am proud to be a Nurse, and have spent time lobbying for improved conditions for nurses nationally. We all need to be advocating for Nurses, the profession of Nursing as well as for our patients!

    J A Waldron, RN and proud of it

  • RN911

    February 7, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    See the latest Youtube Amanda videos at:

  • RN911

    February 7, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Go to youtube and enter “Scary Banner Health Thunderbird Hospital” this has happened befor -many times

  • […] Banner Health Strikes Blow Against Patient Advocacy, Fires RN […]

  • […] Banner Health Strikes Blow Against Patient Advocacy […]

  • Beenthere!

    February 25, 2012 at 7:13 am

    The particular Banner facility in this incident has many many problems. They have an extremely unethical manner in dealing with all issues. They have a lovely mission statement however, DO NOT understand how to put those words into action behaviors. There seems to be a very fearful culture the nurses are under at BDWMC. You know the saying; “chit rolls downhill” try working at BDWMC and you will have a pile of it on you IF you are a caring ethical nurse. They (management/administration) will stifle ANY NURSE that dares speak up about their dirty little secrets. They will plot, lie and covertly get rid of said nurse for being the compassionate person the nurse went into the field for. The Banner Corporation seriously needs to do an indepth investigation on that particular facility. This is NOT just about a nurse VS a doctor. This is to PROTECT the shady administrative team at BDWMC. Mentally unstable individuals should not be running a hospital.

  • […] embarrassed to admit it, but until recently, when I became aware of the Amanda Trujillo case in Arizona, I actually knew very little about what my state Board of Nursing actually did.  The […]

  • […] Banner Health Strikes Blow Against Patient Advocacy […]

  • June

    May 20, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Banner Del Webb continues to pull their dirty tricks. They continue to report nurse after nurse to the Board for ridiculous reasons. They even get rid of Managers that they claim are too “pro employees” What does that tell you? They do NOT care about the patients or the nurses. Money is Banner Del Webb’s God. Pitiful state of affairs is our Healthcare System when this is ALLOWED to continue. The Banner System should NOT accept this behavior. But they do.

About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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