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.

Procedure:

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.