2021-2022 Catalog

Dismissal Policy

Berkshire Community College

Associate Degree in Nursing Program

Dismissal Policy Including Remediation Plan

 

Students in the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) Program are expected at all times to strive to maintain the highest standards of patient care, safe practice, professionalism, honesty, integrity, accountability and responsibility.  The National Student Nurses Code of Ethics https://www.nsna.org/nsna-code-of-ethics.html , as well as, the ADN program’s learning outcomes, serve as the basis for expectations of professional and safe clinical behavior.  A student enrolled in the College’s ADN Program may be subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal, in accordance with this policy for engaging in unprofessional or unsafe clinical behavior. 

Unsafe clinical behavior is defined as any behavior that is actually or potentially detrimental to the physical and/or emotional well-being of a patient, staff, student, and/or self. Unsafe clinical behaviors may include, but are not limited to:

  • causing or contributing to a patient’s physical injury or mental distress;
  • performing an act without appropriate staff or faculty supervision, outside of the scope of the nursing practice, or for which a student has not demonstrated competency;
  • failure to seek staff or faculty assistance when needed;
  • lack of preparation to ensure effective clinical practice;
  • deficits in problem solving and/or decision making skills;
  • providing patients with inappropriate or incorrect information;
  • administering medications incorrectly and/or without appropriate supervision; and/or
  • ·violating clinical agency and/or nursing program policies that impact patient safety.

Unprofessional behavior is defined as actions or inactions by a student that negatively impact their ability to function satisfactorily with others to the extent that the behavior interferes with, or is likely to interfere with, the delivery of quality health care.    This behavior may compromise contractual agreements and/or working relations with clinical agencies, and/or violate legal/ethical standards. 

Unprofessional behaviors may include, but are not limited to:

  • breach of patient confidentiality;
  • ·violating professional standards of personal hygiene/dress;
  • failure to be accountable for clinical deficiencies and engage in effective remediation;
  • contradicting or ignoring a directive issued by staff or faculty;
  • failure to maintain a professional manner and demeanor toward patients, faculty or staff;
  • refusal to comply with known or generally accepted practice standards;
  • ·not notifying faculty and clinical facility of planned absences 1 hour prior to the start of clinical;
  • excessive absenteeism of more than 20% of class time or 3 clinical absences;
  • failure to pass drug screening indicating impairment due to drugs or alcohol
  • ·not working collaboratively or co-operatively with others; and
  • inappropriate use of cell phone or other devices.

Consequences of unprofessional or unsafe clinical behavior include, but are not limited to:

  • immediate removal from the clinical setting, pending further review under this process, if a student’s continued presence poses a risk to the health or safety of patients, other students, faculty and/or staff.
  • issuance of clinical warnings, unprofessionalism write up and/or Critical Incident Form;
  • development and implementation of a remediation plan; and/or
  • disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the nursing program.

     

    Remediation

    The process for remediating unprofessional or unsafe clinical behavior is as follows:

  • Within two (2) days of unprofessional or unsafe clinical behavior incident, a student shall be issued (prior to the meeting) a Critical Incident Form, which shall detail the incident in question and the extent the alleged conduct requires remediation;
  • Students will receive an email stating the alleged behavior and requested to attend a meeting. The meeting will be held with the student and faculty who observed the unprofessional and/ or unsafe clinical behavior, and the Dean of Nursing, or designee.Nursing leadership will determine if any other college official should be present at the meeting.The student may be accompanied at the meeting by a person of his/her choice.The role of the advisor is to directly support the student, but does not include direct participation in the meeting.
  • Student shall be informed of the unprofessional or unsafe clinical behavior and provided an opportunity to respond to the concerns raised during the meeting and in writing;
  • Once found responsible, program representatives shall develop a remediation plan, which may include immediate dismissal, with the opportunity for student input, to address the unprofessional or unsafe clinical behavior which shall include a timeline for completion;
  • Once finalized, the remediation plan shall be signed and dated by the student and the Dean of Nursing, or designee. The student may decline to sign the Critical Incident Form, but this declination does not negate the remediation/decision; and
  • Pursuant to the above timeline, follow up meetings with the student shall be conducted to assess progress and completion of the remediation plan.Once completed, the Remediation Plan shall be signed by the student and the Dean of Nursing, or designee.

     

    Disciplinary Action

    Disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from a nursing program, may occur when: (1) a student fails to comply with a remediation plan; or (2) engages in further unprofessional or unsafe clinical conduct. 

    The disciplinary process is as follows:   

  • Within two (2) days of unprofessional or unsafe clinical behavior incident, a student shall be issued a Critical Incident Form, which shall detail the incident in question and the extent the alleged conduct violates clinical and/or program policies and/or professional or ethical standards;
  • A meeting will be held with the student and faculty who observed the unprofessional and/or unsafe clinical behavior, and the Dean of Nursing, or designee.Nursing leadership will determine if any other college official should be present at the meeting.The student may be accompanied at the meeting by a personal advisor of his/her choice.The role of the advisor is to directly support the student, but does not include direct participation in the meeting.
  • Student shall be informed of the unprofessional or unsafe clinical behavior and provided an opportunity to respond to the allegations presented;
  • The Dean of Students, or designee, shall determine in their professional judgment whether the student’s conduct was sufficiently severe or pervasive to warrant disciplinary action, up to and including immediate dismissal from the program due to unprofessional or unsafe clinical behavior; and
  • The findings and decision of the Dean of Students, or designee, shall be conveyed to the student in writing, and shall include the process for appealing the decision.

Students who are dismissed from the ADN program, at Berkshire Community College, or any other program, for unprofessional or unsafe clinical behavior will be denied readmission into any BCC nursing program per the college’s nursing program policies.

The Dean of Nursing, or designee, will notify the Registrar, in writing, of the student’s dismissal using the Student Dismissal Form.

Documentation of a student’s dismissal from the nursing program for unprofessional and/or unsafe clinical behavior identified only by the student’s college ID number, is recorded in the College’s SIS system as DSM (Dismissal), and maintained permanently, by the Registrar’s office.

Approved:  ADN Faculty Committee, 8/6/19; Reviewed: 12/3/19; Revised: 12/2/20, 7/28/21