In order to complete each nursing course, and progress in the major, students must fulfill both academic and professional requirements (see requirements of the major). Information about College policies including detail about student rights, such as the right to appeal can be found in the Academic Catalog as well as in the J Book and Bennie Book.
Students will be informed of behaviors/performance inconsistent with program expectations as well as professional nursing standards. This policy outlines the procedure to be followed in the event that student outcomes and/or behaviors do not meet the expectations of the program or profession. Student expectations and relevant professional standards are communicated at orientation to the major and via the Student Handbook.
The Department of Nursing reserves the right to require a student to undergo professional evaluation regarding personal health issues as a condition of continued enrollment in the major. The student will be responsible for any diagnostic or treatment costs. Optimal management of the health issue is encouraged. In the event of diagnosed or undiagnosed health issues, the student will remain accountable to the expectations of the program and profession.
The Department of Nursing reserves the right to take whatever actions deemed appropriate, including immediate dismissal from the program, if the performance/behavior is deemed particularly egregious.
A. LEVEL I: VERBAL NOTIFICATION
1. In cases of a minor, easily correctable, isolated unprofessional behavior, students are provided with a verbal notification and constructive advice for modifying the behavior(s) to meet professional standards. The student is expected to modify the behavior accordingly. Verbal notifications can be documented as a brief narrative document and filed in the student's file or can be indicated on the clinical evaluation form. If the behavior is not modified or if new unprofessional behaviors arise, the instructor initiates LEVEL II or LEVEL III action.
B. LEVEL II: WRITTEN NOTIFICATION
1. Students exhibiting a pattern of (one or more than one) minor, correctable unsatisfactory professional and/or personal behaviors, and/or academic performance issues, require the appropriate verbal notification followed by written notification.
2. The behaviors/performance(s) cited will be recorded on a Notice of Disciplinary Procedure form. The instructor, course coordinator, or course team will designate on the form that this is formal written notification, establish the explicit timeframe, and establish conditions for level II contract completion.
3. The student and faculty initiating the contract will review and sign the Notice of Disciplinary Procedure form. The student signature is an acknowledgment of receipt of written notification by the student. One original is kept in the student's file stored securely in the Department of Nursing. One copy is provided to the student.
4. Students receiving formal written notification will be entered into the disciplinary procedure tracking document accessible only to faculty within the Department of Nursing. The student's name will be deleted from the tracking document upon graduation.
5. The faculty initiating written notification will inform the course coordinator, other faculty teaching in the relevant course(s), the student's faculty advisor, and the chair of the Admissions, Progressions, and Recruitment (APR) Committee of the reason for and terms of the level II contract. The coordination and monitoring of the contract remains with the faculty member who initiated the contract.
6. When the student has fulfilled the requirements of the level II contract and the contract has expired, the instructor/and or course coordinator will notify the student and relevant faculty of level II contract expiration. A copy of the contract will be retained in student's file until graduation.
C. LEVEL III: PROBATIONARY CONTRACT
1. Students exhibiting the following should be placed on a probationary contract:
a. Unprofessional behaviors not improved through the guidance of a level II written notification
b. A significant persistent pattern or multiple unprofessional behaviors or academic/clinical performance problems not previously documented
c. Academic misconduct
2. Prior to meeting with the student, the faculty initiating the written notification should consult with the department chair, course coordinator , student's faculty advisor and APR chair with the completed Notification of Disciplinary Procedure form. The Chair of APR will notify the members of the APR for review of the situation/form to ensure consistency across cases and for adherence to department policy and procedures.
3. Student will be notified by the faculty member initiating the probationary contract through a verbal and written notification of the unsatisfactory behaviors using the Notice of Disciplinary Procedure form. Fulfillment of the terms of the probationary contract is essential for progression in the nursing major. The coordination and monitoring of the probationary contract falls under the auspices of the chair of the APR committee.
4. The following individuals must be present at the time of review of the probationary contract: the faculty initiating the contract, the course coordinator, chair of the APR committee, chair of the Department of Nursing, and the student.
5. The probationary contract is signed by the faculty initiating the contract, student, course coordinator (signs again if initiated the contract), and chair of the Department of Nursing. The signature is an acknowledgement of receipt of the probationary contract by the student.
6. The original probationary contract is stored securely in the student file in the Department of Nursing and retained in the student's file until graduation. Copies of the probationary contract are provided to the student (in person or via certified mail, if needed) and the chair of the Department of Nursing will provide a copy to the Assistant Dean/Director of Academic Advising. The chair of APR committee will update the Faculty Organization about students placed on probationary contracts. The probationary contract information will be entered into the disciplinary procedure tracking document accessible only to faculty with the Department of Nursing. The student's name will be deleted from the tracking document upon graduation.
7. When the student has fulfilled the requirements of the probationary contract or the student has graduated, the APR committee will formally remove the student from probationary contract status, and inform the appropriate parties. Due to the serious nature of probationary contracts, it is likely that the contract will be in effect through graduation
D. LEVEL IV: TERMINATION FROM THE NURSING MAJOR
1. The department reserves the right to dismiss students for egregious infractions of regulations; failure to meet the terms of a probationary contract; unsatisfactory academic standing; failure to comply with contractual requirements of clinical facilities; unsatisfactory progress towards the degree; or other reasons that significantly affect the health, safety, property, or welfare of the individual student, patients, healthcare agency, and/or healthcare agency staff.
a. If the chair of the Department of Nursing and involved course faculty deem that sufficient documented evidence exists to consider termination, the case will be referred to the APR committee for review. Depending on the circumstances of the situation, the student may be suspended from clinical activities while the case is under review. If a member of the APR committee is the advisor to the student, he or she will be recused from deliberations.
b. The chair of the Department of Nursing will meet with the student to formally notify the student of his or her rights, including the right to have an advocate present during the disciplinary process, and that the case has been referred to the APR committee for consideration of termination.
c. The chair of the APR committee will notify the student in writing that the committee has received a request for consideration of termination. To assure that the notification has been received, the letter can be sent via email with return receipt requested, or hand-delivered to the student with the student signing the original termination notice (filed in the Department of Nursing office) with date signifying receipt, or by certified mail. The APR chair will inform the student that he/she may submit written comments relevant to the allegations to the APR committee prior to deliberations.
d. The chair of the Department of Nursing will notify and consult with the Assistant Dean / Director of Academic Advising or Dean's designee about the case.
e. The APR committee recommends to the chair of the Department of Nursing that retention or termination of the student should commence.
f. An in-person meeting with the involved parties is conducted to relay the disciplinary decision. If the student is retained, he/she may be subject to a probationary contract. If a student is terminated, the decision will also be relayed in a letter of termination provided to the student at the meeting. The appropriate academic officer(s) is also notified.
g. If the student is terminated from the program, fails to graduate or withdraws from the major, the student file shall be retained for five years and then confidentially disposed.
E. STUDENT RIGHT TO APPEAL
1. Students have the right to appeal disciplinary actions in writing as directed by the CSB/SJU Academic Catalog.
2. The student must notify the chair of the Department of Nursing of the intent to appeal within 24 hours of notification of termination. Email notification of intent to appeal is acceptable. All documentation for appeal must be submitted to the chair of the Department of Nursing in writing within 7 days of notification of termination or as agreed upon by the chair of the Department of Nursing and the student.
3. As aligned with the CSB/SJU policy on student right to appeal, the levels of appeal are as follows:
a. Chair of the Department of Nursing
i. Intent to appeal must be filed by the student in writing within 24 hours.
ii. Materials must be provided by the student in writing within 7 days or as agreed upon by chair of the Department of Nursing and the student.
b. Assistant Dean and Director of Academic Advising
c. Academic Dean
d. Associate Provost
4. The final decision to uphold or overturn the decision to terminate rests with the Provost for Academic Affairs.
This policy was reviewed and approved by the Assistant Dean and Director of Academic Advising (Dean's designee) on 12/3/2009, faculty of the Department of Nursing on 12/7/09, and students were notified via email on 12/8/09. Handbook changes on the nursing website were made on 12/8/09. This policy goes into effect on 1/1/2010. Reviewed and updated 3/19/12.