Nursing Handbook Section 4: Student Policies


Meeting

Academic and Clinical Performance Counseling

Counseling Conference

  • A counseling conference provides an opportunity for the instructor, student or Nursing Director to raise and discuss issues of concern.
  • A counseling conference can be initiated or requested by a student, faculty member or Nursing Director.
  • A third person/neutral party may be asked to participate in counseling conference. Attendance of a third party is to be accepted by all participating.
  • Students may be counseled regarding academic and/or clinical performance.
  • Violations of any program standard or policy as stated in course syllabi or the program handbook are also reasons for which counseling is initiated.

Academic Counseling Conference

  • If a student's academic performance indicates potential for not completing the course, a conference may be held at the request of the student or instructor.
  • The instructor will provide the student with theory grades in writing.
  • Recommendations for corrective action to assist the student in improving performance can be made at this time.
  • The instructor will put a copy of the conference documentation in the student's file.

Clinical Performance Conference

  • Instructors have the right and responsibility to ensure safe and satisfactory behaviors in the clinical setting. The instructor may impose any restriction upon the student deemed necessary in relation to the occurrence. This includes removal from the clinical setting immediately.
  • The instructor will then document behaviors/occurrence objectively. All specific data including date, time and place of occurrence is to be included.
  • When student clinical behaviors do not meet satisfactory standards, the instructor will initially inform the student verbally (verbal warning) and if necessary a written warning will follow.
  • The verbal discussion should occur as close to the time of the occurrence as possible.
  • The instructor will discuss with the student acceptable behavior/performance and establish a plan for remediation.
  • Written warning will generally follow a verbal warning as necessary for unsatisfactory clinical behavior.
  • An action plan will be provided.
  • A counseling conference may be held.
  • The student has the opportunity to respond to the instructor's warning and recommendation on the Official Reprimand form or Written Summary of verbal warning.
  • The student and instructor's signatures are required on the Official Reprimand form. The student's signature does not necessarily indicate agreement. The signature represents that the student has been apprised of the occurrence in writing and has read the information.
  • Should a student refuse to sign the form, a note will be made on the form.
  • An area for student comments is provided on the form.

Academic Advisement

  • Students should make an appointment by contacting TMCC's Academic Advisement Office.
  • Students should seek course substitutions and academic planning prior to their graduation semester.

Agreements

An agreement is a written document between the student and faculty. This may be to help an individual student to understand expectations and standards governing the student’s performance in the Nursing Program. The agreement is implemented for a variety of situations, including, but not limited to, re-entry into the Nursing Program, decreasing clinical performance behavior, failure to observe program standards, and excessive tardiness. The agreement will be placed in the student’s file and a copy will be provided to the student. The agreement is applicable only during the semester in which it is initiated.

Attendance

Class attendance is vital to successful course completion. Each course syllabus contains an attendance policy. The policy may vary slightly from one course to another. Course work missed for any reason may be made up at the discretion of the instructor. It is the personal responsibility of the student to consult with the instructor prior to any absence from a class or clinical experience. The instructor makes the final determination on whether the missed work can be done at a time other than during the regularly scheduled class period. Instructors have the prerogative to assign a grade of “F” when, in their judgment; the student cannot successfully complete the course due to excessive absences.

Attrition

Faculty will meet with each student who withdraws from a class due to personal or academic reasons. Students will complete an “Exit Interview”. If the student is eligible for readmission, faculty will provide academic counseling to the student and complete a “Faculty Remediation” form. The original form will be given to the student and a copy will be placed in the student file. Students should include a copy of the “Faculty Remediation” with their request for readmission.

Background Checks and Drug Screens

Background checks and drug screens are a requirement of clinical facilities with which Truckee Meadows Community College has a contract for nursing student clinical experience. If a student declines, or if the background or drug screen is unsatisfactory to the facility, the student will not be permitted to participate in the clinical portion of the program. Students are admitted to each course subject to the results of the background check and drug screen and acceptance at the clinical site. Current students are advised that they will be withdrawn from the program if clinical requirements are not able to be met for any reason. TMCC will not be responsible for obtaining background checks or drug screens and will not receive the results of any investigations.

Change of Name, Address and Telephone Numbers

Any change of name, address or telephone number must be reported to the Admissions and Records Office as soon as the change takes effect. The school needs telephone access to all students in case of emergency.

Civility

Students are expected and required to conduct themselves in a courteous and polite manner in all areas of the campus, college buildings, School of Sciences office area, faculty offices, clinical area, and with all personnel at all times. See the Conduct, Honor Code and Professional Behavior (below).

Complaint Resolution

The Truckee Meadows Community College Nursing Program values the feedback from students and strives to address all complaints/concerns immediately at the time of origin. All complaints/concerns are to be handled expeditiously and considered confidential information.

Every effort is to be made to resolve complaints at the informal level with the nursing course faculty. In instances where resolution is not obtained at the informal level, the nursing student/nursing faculty may proceed and file a formal written complaint.

The purpose of this procedure is to provide the student with a clearly defined method of dealing with academic problems and/or concerns.

Informal Process

The informal procedure consists of discussing the problem or concern with the faculty member first. Additionally, depending upon the nature of the problem, the problem may be discussed with the student’s counsellor. For a clinical component of a nursing course, the concern may be discussed with the Clinical Coordinator. For concerns related to a theory component of a nursing course, the concern may be discussed with any member of the Course Faculty Teaching Group. Problem solving measures and recommendations for resolution will be discussed with the student and documented. Any faculty receiving an informal complaint/concern should document it and submit the documentation to the Director of Nursing.

Formal Process

If the student is not satisfied with the outcome, the student should then proceed and file a formal written complaint (see "Student Process of Formal Complaint Resolution" form).

Step One: The first step in the formal process is to contact the appropriate course faculty or coordinator in writing within 10 days of the occurrence of the concern. It is important that the initial contact is made via a letter and the student should retain a copy of all correspondence. Documentation should contain a clear outline of the history of the problem including a review of the activities undertaken to try to rectify the problem. The student will be notified in writing by the course coordinator with a response to the student’s concern within 21 academic days from the initial complaint. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome, the student should then proceed to the Director of Nursing.

Step Two: The second step is to contact the Director of Nursing within 10 days of receiving the course coordinator ruling. All materials and communications from previous contacts in the procedure should be assembled by the student and forwarded to the Director of Nursing with a cover letter. The cover letter should contain information which describes why the results of the previous steps in this procedure were unsatisfactory and a statement which explains the resolution sought. The Director of Nursing shall offer to meet with the student(s) within 14 academic days following the filing of an appeal, and the student(s) shall have the opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding the complaint/concern. The Director of Nursing will issue a written ruling following the meeting. The notification to the student will occur in writing within 21 academic days from the meeting.

If the student is still dissatisfied with the outcome following Step Two, the student may proceed with an appeal to the Dean, School of Sciences. The Step Three appeal must occur within 10 academic days following the issuance of the response at Step Two. The final step in this process is to assemble the materials from the beginning of the complaint process. A cover letter is required summarizing each step and outcome of the process.

The Dean shall offer to meet with the student within 21 academic days following the receipt of the appeal. The meeting shall be informal in nature. The student(s) shall have the opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding the complaint and the appeal. The Dean shall issue a response in writing within 21 academic days following the meeting. The decision of the Dean shall be final.

Injection

Conduct, Professional Behavior and Honor Code

A student of the Truckee Meadows Maxine S. Jacobs Nursing Program is responsible for their own academic and professional conduct. Any student who submits an examination or other academic work thereby certifies that the work is his/her own and that he/she is unaware of any instance of violation of this code by himself or others.

Read the Nursing Program Conduct Policy »

Counseling

Students should make an appointment with the TMCC Counseling Center to utilize any of the following services: personal crisis counseling, student support programs, diversity support and EPY 101: Educational, Career and Personal Development.

Disability Accommodations for Nursing Students

Reasonable accommodations and implementation of services are determined by the TMCC Disability Resource Center (DRC) advisor, who will schedule support services. You must first make an appointment with the advisor. You will be required to produce documentation describing your disability and any suggested accommodations requests before receiving services.

Students with documented disabilities will be accommodated to the extent that faculty can be available and fair with all students. It is not possible to have a faculty available for student questions during the testing time, nor is that provided for students in the classroom testing environment.

Students should present documentation of accommodations needed (from the DRC) at the beginning of the semester, or as soon as they have received documentation of an approved accommodation through the DRC.

Accommodations for Testing

Students who have accommodations approved through the TMCC Disability Resource Center will be accommodated during testing situations when possible and reasonable.

  • If accommodations are needed for testing, faculty will review the request and notify both the student and the DRC about whether those can be made.
    • No accommodations will be made for the Medication Administration Proficiency Exam (MAPE).
    • The DRC will be notified of the date and time of tests in writing at least one week in advance, email will suffice.
    • To accommodate classroom test review, tests will normally start earlier and end at the same time.
    • Students who arrive late to testing will not receive additional time, just as in the classroom situation.
    • Under no circumstances is a test to be administered prior to the date and time scheduled.
    • Students may not negotiate changes to the time or date of testing separately with the DRC.
    • Arrangements for test site and proctoring will be the responsibility of the DRC office.
  • Students who need clarification or have questions during the test will not have the opportunity to seek out an instructor.
    • Either DRC staff will hand carry the test and Scantron to the instructor who is responsible for testing or the instructor will go to the DRC to pick up the test and Scantron.

Accommodations for Clinical

Students who have accommodations approved through the TMCC Disability Resource Center will be accommodated during clinical situations when possible and reasonable.

  • If accommodations are needed for clinical situations, the Director of Nursing, the student, and the clinical instructor will review the request.
    • The DRC will be consulted for more information as needed.
    • The clinical agency will be consulted for ability to meet the needs if necessary.
    • In all cases, student and patient safety will be the priority.

Distribution of Final Course Grades

Final course grades will be posted through Admission & Records at scheduled times or distributed to students as arranged by course faculty. Students may be notified of final course grades through the Canvas learning management system prior to the official notification by Admissions and Records, however, all final exams must have been taken prior to distribution of final course grade, with the exception of short courses.

Electronic Devices

Only calculators provided by faculty may be used during classroom exams. Cellular phones are not acceptable in the classroom and must be turned off.

Exam Policy

The Exam Policy includes grading, quizzes, final examination rules and more.

Read the Nursing Program Exam Policy »

Faculty Evaluations

All full and part-time faculty are evaluated each semester in all theory and clinical courses.

Food or Beverages

No food or beverage is allowed in any classroom. This applies to students and faculty (bottled clear water is the exception but must be capped).

Grade Appeals

Students of the Nursing Program have access to TMCC’s Grade Appeals Process.

Holidays

Nursing Program students will have all school holidays off, however if a holiday falls on a Monday, students are expected to select clients and prepare to perform safely in clinical on Tuesday, as required by faculty. Please refer to the TMCC College Catalog for the policy on religious holiday observations.

Learning Resources

Library

The TMCC Library can assist you with class assignments and preparing for clinical experiences. Class assignments may include independent use of interactive video materials, which are available in the computer lab or library. Students will be required to present a current student ID (available from Starting Point) to check out any materials from the circulation desk.

Tutoring and Learning Center

The TMCC Tutoring and Learning Center provides the following services:

  • Paper submission to the Writing Center for review (30 minutes to 1 hour appointments depending on length of paper) – APA style.
  • Writing Center Workshops in Study Skills, Test Taking, and Communication.
  • Certificate of attendance can be given to returning nursing students for whom the requirement is part of their contract.
  • Smart Thinking: online accessible; each TMCC student has 10 hours of free access per semester. After the 10 hours, student will have to pay out of pocket.
  • Summer schedule: Open with limited hours.
  • Medication Administration Proficiency Exams (MAPES): Specific Dimensional Analysis and Ratio & Proportion classes for students struggling with MAPES .
  • Test-taking strategies on request.

Liability Insurance

All nursing students from TMCC are covered by NSHE medical malpractice insurance while in the clinical setting. The coverage is applicable to students who function within their stated learning objectives and within the institution policies and procedures. Students are accountable for all concepts and principles taught up to and including the current semester of education.

Medical Insurance

All students must show proof of major medical insurance coverage on or before the first day of each and every semester. Students, who do not have coverage through a spouse or employment, may purchase medical insurance through private companies. A list of those is available in the Health Sciences Office. Students must also notify the Health Sciences office of any changes in coverage.

Readmission

The TMCC Nursing Program may be re-entered twice; any nursing course may not be repeated more than once. Students who withdraw for any reason, either academic or non-academic reasons including events -- such as, illness, or family issues -- must apply for readmission.

Read the TMCC Nursing Program Readmission Policy »

Recording (Audio or Video)

The policy of the TMCC Nursing Department is that no recording is allowed in classes or clinical/clinical conferences without the express permission of the instructor/faculty. This permission must be obtained prior to any recoding activity. There will be no recording during (post) test review in order to maintain test integrity and security; no exceptions will be allowed unless the recording is a reasonable accommodation for a student with a documented disability.

Any student found recording in violation of this policy might be subject to discipline, up to and including expulsion from the Nursing Program.

Required Documents

The following are required for all nursing students prior to attending any clinical rotation:

  • Documentation of negative background check and drug screen.
  • Documentation of current major medical health insurance.
  • Documentation of current immunization status.
  • A valid Healthcare Provider CPR card.

Nursing Program

Social Media and Networking

The purpose of this policy is to define and describe acceptable use of social media within the Maxine S. Jacobs Nursing Program. Nursing students, and nursing faculty have a professional obligation to understand the nature, benefits and consequences of participating in social networking of all types.

Read the TMCC Nursing Program Social Media and Networking Policy »

Student Input into Program Processes and Decision Making

Student Representatives

Student representatives are elected for each nursing cohort and provide a liaison role to faculty and administration. Each nursing cohort is encouraged to select representatives during the first nursing class and determine how they will function within the class.

Representatives gather information from students about current issues and concerns and attend the first 15 minutes of each faculty meeting to present any general issues and receive any clarification needed from faculty. A follow up plan is created for concerns that can’t be immediately resolved.

Representatives may also be asked to attend student conferences as an advocate or participate on student appeals hearings when appropriate.

Learning Communities

Each cohort of nursing students becomes a learning community – they are students who share common interests, emotions, values and beliefs and are actively engaged in learning together. They learn from each other, partly to repeated interactions with each other. Learning community cohorts of nursing students are encouraged to schedule at least monthly meetings to address common issues.

Transportation

Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from school and clinical facilities. Some clinical facilities may require as much as 50 minutes traveling time from campus.

Weather

Clinical Courses

In the event that the Dandini and/or Redfield Campus is closed or has a late start, clinical schedules will be adjusted based on the plan that has been specified in the course syllabus for each clinical course.

Theory Courses

Refer to course syllabi for specific instructions. Information regarding any campus closure is available on the TMCC website by 6 a.m. and on local TV news.

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