UNSAFE, UNETHICAL and UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT and PERFORMANCE
Maintaining client safety is the overriding principle in clinical practice.
To insure safe client care and ethical, professional practice nursing
students will provide care within the guidelines of the Nursing Practice
Act or the Vocational Nursing Practice Act, the Academic Standards and
policies listed in this Handbook, the NSNA Code of Ethics and the CR Student
Code of Conduct. Nursing students must function at the expected clinical
level as stated in course objectives and clinical evaluation forms. Nursing
faculty have the unquestioned authority and responsibility to identify
student conduct and performance in the academic and/or clinical area that
are unsafe, unethical, and/or unprofessional, take immediate corrective
action, and provide remediation contracts, if appropriate.
For each student to provide safe care, he/she must be able to make sound
judgments. Thought processes and decision-making can be adversely affected
by excessive stress, poor mental or physical health and the use of drugs
and alcohol. Impaired by the aforementioned factors, the student can easily
make unsafe decisions, and therefore jeopardize client safety.
The student whose thought processes and decision-making ability is impaired
by excessive stress, poor mental and/or physical health, or the use of
drugs and alcohol will be considered unsafe to provide client care and
will be dismissed from the clinical setting. Time away from the clinical
experience will be considered absence. The student will be subject to
review by a nursing faculty advisory committee and possibly the college
disciplinary process. In addition the student will be counseled about
the importance of seeking voluntary aid for such conditions that could,
if left unattended, lead to disciplinary action and may prevent them from
being licensed to practice nursing in the State of California.
As health care professionals, we recognize that excessive stress, poor
mental and physical health, and dependency on drugs and alcohol are conditions
that can be treated by early recognition and rehabilitation. Rehabilitated
students will be encouraged to re-enter the educational process for successful
completion of a nursing program.
When student practice is unsafe, unethical or unprofessional the following
procedure will be implemented.
Step 1. The nursing faculty member will require that
the student complete an anecdotal record of the event and provide the
student with a verbal and written description of conduct and performance
observed. Some conduct and behavior may necessitate immediate dismissal
of the student from the academic or clinical area. The student and the
nursing faculty member will have a conference at an agreed upon time
within 24 hours or the next academic day. A specific written remediation
plan in a conference summary will be developed, and signed by the student
and the faculty to address the unsafe, unethical, or unprofessional
conduct and performance and prevent repetition. In the instance of unsatisfactory
skills performance, a laboratory skills referral will be made; either
student or faculty may initiate the skills lab referral. The Director
of Nursing and Health Occupations and course instructors of the Nursing
Program will receive a copy of the remediation plan within 72 hours
as well. NOTE: Some conduct and performance may result in immediate
dismissal from the program and further College disciplinary action.
Step 2. When a student fails to completely comply
with the specifications of the conference summary, or if the identified
conduct and performance continues, the student will be dismissed from
academic or clinical areas and the situation will be referred to a faculty
advisory committee for review. A conference will be held with the nursing
faculty member, student, and Director of Nursing and Health Occupations
to determine a course of action. If student continuation in the program
is appropriate, an additional written contract will be developed to
continue to monitor and correct unsafe, unethical, or unprofessional
conduct and performance. Continuation in the program is contingent upon
follow-through with specific contract directives.
Step 3. Students failing to comply with the contract
shall be dismissed from the program and shall receive an unsatisfactory
clinical evaluation and a F grade for the course. Students dismissed
from the nursing program for unsafe, unethical, and unprofessional conduct
or performance may initiate the grievance according to college policy
#528.03 as outlined previously in this section of the handbook.