I was contacted by a nurse who knew of and/or suspected the use of illegal billing practices by a physician employer and did not report the conduct to a regulatory board, licensing board, or a law enforcement agency.
There may be of code of silence in healthcare, a "don't ask and don't tell" philosophy towards certain conduct in the military, and a "no squeal" rule in the criminal underworld but you need to determine what are your mandatory reporting obligations if any: legally, ethically, morally, and professionally in this type of situation as a nurse.
Call it whistleblowing, call it "tattle telling" or whatever, but you need to make sure as a licensed nurse that you have met your legal, ethical, and professional obligations under the circumstances. As a state-licensed nurse, you are not a "Joe Blow" working at a local fast food parlor. You are a licensed nurse practicing in accordance with legal, professional, moral, and ethical frameworks.
You have to determine if it is legal, ethical, professionally, or morally okay for you to just turn your head and not to report this type of conduct.
What should you do if you know of or suspect illegal conduct in the workplace? This of course is not legal advice but you need to determine your next course of action and you can consider one or more of the following:
1. You need to look at your State Nursing Practice Act and State Nursing Board regulations;
2. You need to look at your ANA-affiliated State Nurses Association guidelines and standards;
3. You need to look at the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics for Nurses;
4. You need to contact your ANA-affiliated State Nurses Association and speak with the Executive Director or a Nursing Practice Consultant;
5. You need to contact your nursing union and speak with a Labor Relations Specialist or an elected Nursing Union official; and/or
6. You need to contact a nursing license defense attorney who represents nurse.
Speak to someone about the situation but don't just turn your head and remain silent because healthcare is highly regulated and the situation may come back to bite you...