Interplay between PLU’s Student Code of Conduct and the School of Nursing

Each student associated with PLU, including each student in the School of Nursing, is expected to be familiar with and to follow all policies, rules and regulations promulgated by the university, as well as local, state and federal laws. Students are expected to know and follow conduct standards set out in the PLU Student Code of Conduct. Failure to abide by the policies, rules, and regulations may result in disciplinary action(s) outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, up to and including suspension or expulsion from the university.

Nursing programs, by their nature as healthcare professional programs, hold students to higher standards of academic, professional, and behavioral expectations than the general university, so students at the School of Nursing are also expected to know and follow the additional standards specific to the School of Nursing. Those standards are identified throughout this handbook, and are summarized in this policy.

PLU nursing students are required to abide by all policies and standards of the School of Nursing as a minimum expectation for admission, standard program progressions, and for program completion. There are possible conduct-based circumstances where a student would be eligible to continue his or her education at PLU, but not to continue in the School of Nursing. Readmission to PLU after suspension, for example, does not equate to readmission to return to the School of Nursing, and should not be considered as such. In some situations, for example, conduct may violate professional conduct standards for the nursing profession but may not violate university policy. In any such situation, the School of Nursing reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take action independent of the Student Conduct Process, through its RAP Committee and Petition process.

If allegations which could constitute a violation of the PLU Student Code of Conduct are made against a student in the School of Nursing, the allegations will be reported to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. The School of Nursing or its representative(s) may in certain circumstances, make the report. The process set out in the Student Code of Conduct will be utilized to determine whether or not the student is “Responsible” for violating the Code of Conduct. If a violation is found to have occurred, sanctions will be determined through that process. Once that determination is made and any appeals are completed, the student’s conduct file will be available for review and action by the School of Nursing RAP committee.

The School of Nursing will accept as true the findings of fact made by Review Officers in the university’s Student Conduct process. Some sanctions imposed through the Student Conduct Process, such as probation, suspension or expulsion (without limitation) from PLU, will necessarily result in an equivalent probation, suspension or expulsion from the School of Nursing without further action by School of Nursing. The School of Nursing may, on its own initiative and in its own discretion, through its RAP committee, impose additional sanctions based on the Student Conduct process findings of fact, because Nursing professionals are subject to patient care considerations and related standards in addition to those for students in other fields of endeavor. See, for example, sections in this Handbook on Professional Conduct and Values of the Nursing Profession; Academic Performance; Professional Misconduct and Safety Issues; and Clinical Practice Policies and Health Requirements/Expectation, without limitation. A student who returns to PLU after probation, suspension or expulsion may petition the RAP committee for re-enrollment in the School of Nursing. Completion of requirements for re-enrollment at PLU must be completed before a petition may be filed with the RAP committee with respect to re-enrollment in the School of Nursing. The petition process of this Handbook must be followed.

Nursing Student Rights and Responsibilities

The School of Nursing Student Rights and Responsibilities defined below support the Student Rights and Responsibilities as defined in the Pacific Lutheran University’s Student Code of Conduct.

General Principles – All students have a right to:
  • a safe, supportive, respectful, and professional learning environment that is free from discrimination and accepting of individuals for who they are regardless of cultural/ethnic affiliation, spiritual affiliation, political affiliation, or any other personal characteristic, choice, or origin
  • an environment conducive to learning with adequate lighting, spaces, and resources that support student achievement of program outcomes
  • space within the PLU campus and the SoN to engage in scholarly activities and meet with peers, colleagues, and faculty
  • assemble, form groups, and develop communities of learners
  • transparency in communication with faculty and staff, program changes, clinical placement, and projects
  • a nursing advisor to help the student throughout the program of study
  • have their nursing advisor present during meetings in which the student feels the need for support
  • asks questions, to know who to contact if they have questions regarding any aspect of their experience, and what to do if they identify an issue or concern during their time as a student
Responsibilities – Students are responsible for:
  • being actively engaged in learning by arriving on time and being prepared to participate in the learning activities
  • treating all persons – peers, faculty, staff, etc. – with respect, creating a safe learning atmosphere for all
  • reviewing and adhering to all policies found in the PLU Student Code of Conduct
  • communicating with faculty or staff if they would like to have their advisor join a meeting scheduled between the student and the faculty/staff/committee, etc
  • keeping learning spaces clean and orderly, free of damage and graffiti

Academic Degree and Progression – All students have a right to:
  • clear and accessible descriptions of programs and degree requirements, courses in the curriculum, and typical program progression, including courses and timeline
  • be notified in a timely manner with a clear description of the curriculum change and the reason for the change
  • clear communication about what is expected of them in their respective programs and when important deliverables are due (e.g., vaccination records, BLS certification, PPD/QuantiFERON Gold results, etc.)
  • information about financial aid and who to contact to inquire about obtaining financial aid
  • the grievance process if they feel they have been unfairly treated, to know how and why they are being disciplined, and the process by which they can grieve the action
  • privacy as outlined and delineated in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  • dispute a grade if they believe faculty awarded the grade capriciously and/or unfairly by following the steps defined in the Grade Dispute Policy (see both informal and formal guidelines)
Responsibilities – Students are responsible for:
  • reviewing the curriculum and information specific to their program to be aware of expectations of the degree
  • completing federal and institutional financial aid requirements on time if they are seeking financial aid
  • providing feedback to faculty, staff, and the SoN leadership in a respectful manner
  • maintaining compliance status for the various requirements, such as vaccines, BSL certification, etc
  • maintaining academic integrity at all times as outlined in the PLU Student Code of Conduct

Communication – All students have a right to:
  • truthful, timely, and accurate communication within 3 business days unless otherwise noted from peers, faculty, clinical preceptors, staff, and SoN leadership
  • respectful communication, free from derogatory language
  • privacy of privileged information
  • constructive communication and feedback that supports student development
  • know the preferred communication modality of individual faculty and staff
Responsibilities – Students are responsible for:
  • reciprocating the above rights with communications among peers, clinical staff, preceptors, faculty, and SoN staff
  • responding to faculty and staff communication in a timely manner within 3 business days unless otherwise noted and using the preferred method identified by faculty or staff
  • not sharing communication among peers, clinical staff, preceptors, faculty, and staff on social media

Clinical Experiences – All students have a right to:
  • clinical experiences that are safe, supportive, and enhance their learning and professional growth
  • know the duration of the clinical experience length, onboarding procedures, location, expected start and stop times, and who the point of contact is at the SoN
  • clear explanations of what to expect at the clinical site, as well as expected course outcomes related to the clinical experience
  • be notified as early as possible of their clinical site location and beginning and end dates of the clinical experience
  • be informed of the policy and procedure for reporting safety concerns, challenges in the clinical setting, and conflicts or difficulties with clinical faculty or preceptors
Responsibilities – Students are responsible for:
  • completing all onboarding requirements for each clinical experience by the deadlines
  • maintaining compliance with all onboarding requirements throughout the entire program
  • communicating respectfully with onboarding staff, clinical faculty, and personnel at the clinical site
  • adhering to the clinical performance guidelines
  • reviewing all information provided on the clinical course site on the learning management system, including the performance guidelines, the syllabus, grading rubrics, etc.
  • attending all clinical experiences to achieve the required number of clinical hours for the program
  • arrive on time and prepared to actively participate in the clinical experience
  • report concerns and issues to the appropriate faculty as soon as the issues or concern arises in the clinical setting

Student Authorship & Inclusion on Scholarly Presentations and Publications – All students have a right to:
  • authorship and dissemination of scholarly papers or projects at professional conferences or through publication – note — authorship should be discussed upon joining the faculty-led team and must adhere to standards established by peer-reviewed journals or professional organizations
  • be hired into teaching assistants/research assistant positions when working on a grant-funded scholarly project
  • access information on faculty expertise and ongoing scholarly projects
Responsibilities – Students are responsible for:
  • being fully engaged in the scholarly project
  • completing the work assigned by the agreed-upon deadlines
  • keeping all scholarly and study data and information private and secure