College of Nursing All Student Handbook
For the purpose of this policy, “on-site clinical” refers to clinical experiences in the simulation lab/Clinical Education Center (CEC); “off-site clinical” refers to clinical experiences involving direct patient care. In addition, even when not explicitly stated, references to “clinical” experience include also any internship experience.
The health professions are based on a high degree of trust. Members of the CU College of Nursing community, including faculty and students, accept the responsibility to maintain the highest standards of intellectual honesty and ethical and professional conduct. All CU College of Nursing students receive a copy of the guidelines and procedures for implementing the Student Honor and Conduct Code (SHCC) and Professional Role Behaviors (PRB) on admission. Students will indicate their willingness to adhere to the SHCC by signing and returning the acknowledgment form, which shall be electronically stored for reference as needed. Ignorance of the guidelines and procedures will not constitute an affirmative defense to a violation of the SHCC or PRB. All questions or concerns regarding the SHCC or PRB should be directed to the CU College of Nursing Associate Dean of Academic Programs.
Elements of the SHCC
All students who have entered health professional programs should have developed the qualities of honesty, ethical behavior, and integrity as described by the National Student Nurses Association Code of Academic and Clinical Professional Conduct, and the American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics (2015). CU Nursing students should apply and demonstrate these principles to both their academic careers and their subsequent professional nursing careers. All students are also expected to have achieved a level of maturity that always manifests in appropriate conduct.
Types of conduct that violate the SHCC include but are not limited to, the following:
a. Relationship of Code to Local, State, and Federal Laws
CU adheres to all applicable local, state, and federal laws and cooperates with law officials in all matters. Any alleged violation of local, state, or federal laws will be referred to the appropriate law enforcement officials, and such laws have precedence over the provisions of this policy. Upon the completion of the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)/Affirmative Action (AA) Officer’s investigation, if recommendations are made, or those by the University Legal Counsel those recommendations shall be submitted to the CU College of Nursing Student Affairs Committee (SAC). Factors to be considered in determining what weight should be afforded to the recommendations of the EEO/AA Officer and the University Legal Counsel include but are not limited to, the thoroughness of the investigation, the experience of the investigator, and the amount of corroborating information. All matters referred to SAC shall be confidential to the extent practical and permitted by law.
b. Process for Cases of Suspected SHCC Violations
After discussion with the student, neutral party, and associated party (as necessary), the faculty member of record will contact the student in writing via CU email, outlining the faculty decision and options (if necessary).
Consequences of SHCC violation: Consequences of SHCC violation include, but are not limited to, course failure or administrative course withdrawal, additional didactic or clinical assignment, academic dismissal, suspension, expulsion, or exclusion. Students have the opportunity to appeal against the SHCC violation if it affects student progression or involves a course or clinical failure, in which case the process for a SAC appeal will be used.
Original Date 8/26/02; Implemented 10/15/08; Revised by SAC 4/14/14; Approved by General Faculty 4/28/14
For the purpose of this policy, “on-site clinical” refers to clinical experiences in the simulation lab/Clinical Education Center (CEC); “off-site clinical” refers to clinical/practicum experiences involving direct patient care. In addition, even when not explicitly stated, references to “clinical” experience also include any internship experience. The expectations for professional behavior are consistent across all clinical practice/internship sites and within all nursing education settings.
The Policy Statement for Professional Role Behaviors (PRB) is consistent with the philosophy and rationale of the CU Nursing Student Honor and Conduct Code (SHCC), the Colorado Nurse Practice Act, and the assumptions inherent in ethical conduct outlined by professional nursing organizations, including the National Student Nurses Association Code of Academic and Clinical Professional Conduct and the American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics (2015). The Policy Statement is intended to complement the SHCC. Although a violation of the PRB may also be a violation of the SHCC, a violation of the PRB does not automatically constitute a violation of the SHCC. The PRB applies to all students enrolled at CU Nursing from admission to graduation.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics (2015) outlines principles of professional nursing behavior. The PRB policy supports and assures adherence to the ANA Code of Ethics by outlining how the Code is demonstrated by CU Nursing students.
The PRB was developed to assist in orienting, informing, and socializing students into professional nursing role behaviors and to support decision-making/action in the event that student behavior violates professional conduct requirements. The Student Affairs Committee (SAC), General Faculty, and faculty with graduate appointments endorse the PRB, assist in consistent PRB enforcement across courses and programs, and are responsible for evaluation and revision of Critical Elements and implementation protocols to assure PRB adequacy and appropriateness.
The following Critical Elements of Professional Roles and Behaviors must be consistently demonstrated.
Disrespectful behaviors, including making demands, blaming others for one’s own mistakes, or demeaning others, are considered unprofessional and are unacceptable in the context of a collaborative and positive learning environment. Unprofessional conduct, communication or behavior will be referred to the Graduate Specialty Director and/or appropriate Assistant Dean of Undergraduate or Graduate Programs or Program Director, who will consult with involved faculty, CU COLLEGE OF NURSING administration, and representatives from the affiliating clinical agency, as appropriate, to determine subsequent action, which may include referral to Student Affairs Committee (SAC), which may result in course failure or withdrawal, Dismissal, Suspension or Expulsion.
Deceleration, Suspension, inter-program transfer (Undergraduate Program), delay in academic progression, or Withdrawal are options for students who determine that clinical placements/schedules are unacceptable to them.
Patient information is to be disclosed only as needed to provide care for that patient. The Minimum Necessary Principle dictates that any posting or communication related to PHI is prohibited from being discussed on social media networks.
Protected Health Information is defined as individually identifiable health information that is transmitted by or maintained in the electronic health record or transmitted or maintained in any other form or medium and includes, but is not limited to, the following: name, address (i.e., physical, e-mail), relevant patient-related dates (e.g., birthday, date of admission), and relevant patient-related numbers (e.g., phone, Social Security, medical record, health plan account).
“Individually identifiable health information” held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate (in any form or media, whether electronic, paper, or oral) may include the following:
Any failure to comply with patient privacy or prudent use of information or electronic devices warrants failure of the clinical/internship, lab, simulation, and/or course, or even Dismissal from the program/Expulsion from CU.
All required orientations scheduled by the clinical agency are mandatory for continuing in the clinical/internship rotation. A student who is absent from a mandatory orientation will forfeit their clinical placement and be placed on a space-available basis on an Individual Program Plan (IPP) for progression. It is the students’ responsibility to be informed of new and changing orientation schedules conveyed by the Experiential Learning Team or Graduate Specialty Director by checking routinely their CU email accounts.
(b) carefully consider whether they are using the appropriate medium for communicating an issue or concern. Public matters may be communicated in a group forum or conference center; private email to a classmate or faculty should be used for confidential issues; phone calls or face-to-face communication is appropriate for problem-solving and conflict management. Students are required to follow the CU COLLEGE OF NURSING Student Email Policy and use their student email address for all communication with CU College of Nursing.
Processes to Facilitate Student Adoption of Professional Role Behaviors (PRB)
The course faculty, clinical scholar, Specialty Director, or other preceptors for each clinical/internship experience will reinforce expected professional behaviors using the PRB during the course orientation session and may include the PRB in course materials. Minimally, all course syllabi should include the text of the PRB, explain its relevance to the course, and state that it will be enforced.
Throughout the clinical/internship experience, clinical faculty will provide feedback to the student via a clinical evaluation tool that will outline (a) what clinical expectations are being met, (b) what clinical expectations need attention, and (c) what clinical expectations are not being met with respect to the student’s clinical performance.
Examples of positive professional role behaviors will be noted (a) for Baccalaureate students on the clinical evaluation tool (CPE or CET; see information below) and (b) for Graduate students on a clinical performance evaluation. Students will be provided with feedback minimally at mid-rotation and completion of the clinical rotation, and as necessary throughout the clinical rotation.
In the event that performance is sub-standard, the faculty, clinical scholar/instructor, Graduate Specialty Director, or preceptor who observes the behavior is responsible for discussing the concern directly with the student in a timely manner. The specific behavior and action for required improvement will be clearly conveyed using the clinical evaluation tool. In some cases, this discussion will be accompanied by the completion of a Student Advising Notice (SAN). The student’s understanding of the concern and commitment for improvement will be verified. A specific action plan will be documented, including criteria and timeframes for improvement or continuation in the clinical, consequences for continued violation, and the potential for suspension from the clinical setting.
Meetings and discussions with students should be documented on a SAN. The SAN should be completed by the faculty and shared with the student, and the SAN must include a plan for course success. Copies of the SAN will be sent electronically to the Graduate Student Advisor or Undergraduate Program Manager and to the appropriate Assistant Dean of Undergraduate, Graduate, as well as DNP and PhD programs. One of the above will then notify the student’s faculty advisor.
CU College of Nursing at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus requires all matriculated students in programs with clinical and/or internship components to submit to a drug test. For non-degree seeking students and students enrolled in the DNP program, a drug test will be required for courses with a clinical and/or internship component.
A drug test is required to ensure the safety and well-being of patients. In addition, student drug tests are mandatory to meet accreditation standards, licensure issues, contractual obligations, and liability issues.
Although marijuana is legal in the State of Colorado, marijuana is a Schedule 1 substance under federal law and continues to be an illegal substance for purposes of this policy.
As a part of the admission process into the nursing program, all students must satisfactorily pass a drug test. Upon admission, students will receive information regarding the location of designated drug testing sites, deadlines for compliance, results reporting, and associated fees. Students are responsible for the cost of the required drug test.
Results of the drug test will be reported electronically to the CU College of Nursing’s Office of Admissions and Student Affairs. Review of drug test results will be conducted by the Medical Director of the designated vendor to determine a passing or failing level. The student may review the information reported by the designated vendor for accuracy and completeness and request that the designated vendor verify that the drug test results are correct. Prior to making a final determination that may adversely affect the student, the program will inform the student of this information, how to contact the designed vendor to challenge the accuracy of the report, and the role of the designated vendor in any decisions made by the program.
If required by a specific clinical/internship training site, a student may be required to submit to additional drug testing based on the contractual agreements with those sites. Students are responsible for the cost of all required drug tests.
If CU College of Nursing has reasonable suspicion that a student is using illegal drugs or is improperly under the influence of drugs or alcohol while engaged in CU-related activities, the program may immediately require the student to report for testing at a designated vendor. The program is responsible for identifying and providing safe travel to and from the designated vendor for the testing. If a student refuses to submit to a reasonable suspicion alcohol or drug test, the refusal may be considered a presumptive positive.
For purposes of this policy, “illegal drugs” means illegal use of controlled or illegal (i.e., prohibited) substances. It does not mean prescription drugs prescribed by a licensed health care professional that are lawfully being taken by a student when the student is under the direct medical care of the licensed health care professional. Again, although marijuana is legal in the State of Colorado, marijuana is a Schedule 1 substance under federal law and continues to be an illegal substance for purposes of this policy. In addition to other illegal drugs as described above, the overuse and/or abuse of alcohol in the learning environment is prohibited under this policy.
To determine reasonable suspicion, the following factors may be considered, but they do not constitute an exhaustive list of factors justifying a drug or alcohol test:
Students who have a medical condition, are injured, or are taking any substance that impairs judgment (e.g., prescription medications, medical marijuana, and alcohol) may not meet CU Nursing’s Technical Standards and therefore may not be suitable for the clinical/internship environment, where patient safety is the utmost concern.
All students must satisfactorily pass any required drug test at the time of admission as well as when requested by the program for cause/” reasonable suspicion.” A refusal to undergo a drug test will be considered a presumptive positive. A student whose test results are in a “negative dilute” or an insufficient sample will be required to be retested immediately. Multiple retests resulting in a negative dilute may be considered a presumptive positive and handled as such. Any costs required by any additional testing are the responsibility of the student.
Students who do not pass a required drug test may face disciplinary action, including rescinding of their admission, administrative withdrawal from courses, placement on a leave of absence, or dismissal from the academic program. Students may also be referred to Peer Assistance Services for evaluation and treatment. Any costs incurred or required as part of a treatment program or ongoing monitoring are the responsibility of the student.Revised by SAC 4/15/15; Implemented 4/27/15
The CU Anschutz Medical Campus (AMC) strives to maintain a safe and productive educational, clinical, research, and employment environment. All prospective students seeking clinical and/or internship opportunities must, therefore, consent to and pass a criminal background investigation prior to any final program acceptance. Background checks are also required for new employees, volunteers, and trainees who will have direct, ongoing contact with other students, patients, or visitors or who will have direct access to CU resources such as facilities, equipment, funds, or other property. Anyone subject to a criminal background check in accordance with this policy is referred to as an “applicant." All appointments and promotions are contingent upon the applicant passing the necessary criminal background investigation. Students are responsible for the cost of the required background check.
Approved by SAC 12/12/16; Implemented 12/12/16
This handbook is focused on policies, procedures, and information for you as a student, whether undergraduate or graduate. The 2023-2024 handbook is currently under review, however, new and revised policies are being published as they are approved. The policies posted in the 2023-2024 Handbook supersedes policies in the previous year document. Please direct any questions about the handbook to email@example.com.