top of page

What is Assignment Despite Objection?

As a licensed registered nurse, you have a legal and professional obligation to notify your employer of an unsafe situation so the problem can be corrected and injury or harm to the patient can be avoided.

If, in your professional judgment, you believe a patient care assignment is unsafe, or potentially unsafe, an Assignment Despite Objection (ADO) Form should be filled out.

When in doubt, fill it out!

When should I fill out an ADO form?

Examples of when a form should be used:

  • Need for additional RN or support staff (e.g., monitor tech, unit secretary)

  • Can’t reach a doctor for orders or admission

  • Late lunch/no lunch

  • Lack of training or competency to handle patient care assignment.

  • Mandatory overtime (being required to stay after scheduled hours)

  • Unsafe environment/workplace violence (hostile patient/family)

  • Skills mix on unit is insufficient

  • Forms can and should be used as often as needed and may be filled out up to 7 days after the occurrence. 

What do ADO forms do?

When forms are filled out, it does the following:

  • Eliminates administration deniability

  • Creates a historical record

  • Establishes a database maintained by the union

  • Tracks negative staffing or patient care trends

  • Can be used in court, before state agencies, and in legislative hearings

ADO forms protect your license!

Assignment Despite Objection (ADO) forms are admissible in court, with regulatory agencies, and are protected under federal labor law.


It is illegal for management to discipline or retaliate against any nurse for filling out a form and advocating for themselves and their patients. 

bottom of page