Proactive Response & Misconduct of Students and Its Documentation and Communication In Nursing Education

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Nursing Education and Proactive Response & Misconduct of Students and Its Documentation and Communication

Proactive Response & Misconduct of Students and Its Documentation and Communication In Nursing Education
Documentation and Communication of Proactive Behavior In Nursing Education, Discipline as an Educational Experience In Nursing Education, Responding to Student Misconduct In Nursing Education.

Documentation and Communication of Proactive Behavior In Nursing Education

    It is important for faculty to keep notes of student behaviors that have been observed. Faculty may observe behaviors that are not desired but that do not violate the established classroom standard or the campus student code. One reason to note these “below the radar” behaviors is that they can escalate to a level that would ultimately violate the classroom standard or the campus student code. 

    At that point, it would be helpful when faculty meet with a student to be able to note the specific patterns of behaviors observed. Students are often surprised faculty have taken note of problematic behaviors and want to talk with them about their conduct. Keeping personal notes may also be helpful if faculty need to refer an incident to others. 

    The information important to document includes time, day, and place where the behavior was observed. It is also important to use descriptive and not evaluative statements. 

    To say that the student was “rude” is not helpful; however, to document that “the student has arrived late to four of the last six classes, which disrupted the class lecture when the student attempted to locate a seat in class” is helpful, because it is specific and allows the faculty to talk with the student in a way that focuses on student behaviors and not on how the faculty may feel about those behaviors. 

    There is often a misunderstanding among faculty and staff throughout colleges and universities regarding documentation and communication of students’ behaviors and students’ privacy rights. These misunderstandings center around an interpretation of federal legislation called the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). 

    Pursuant to FERPA (United States Department of Education, 2007), faculty and staff may and, in fact, should share information about a student when a “legitimate educational interest” exists. Matters of classroom management, student conduct or misconduct, and behaviors of concern fall within a legitimate educational interest. 

   The Department of Education acknowledges there is a balance between students’ rights to privacy and the university’s responsibility to ensure stability and public safety. As such, The University [may] disclose education[al] records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. 

    A school of ictal is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff ); a person or company with whom the University has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using University employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an of ictal committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school of ictal in performing his or her tasks. 

    Therefore, you should communicate with your department chair when you become aware of possible student behavioral concerns. It is good practice to keep the department chair updated as to any documentation, meetings, or other actions regarding student behavior issues.

Discipline as an Educational Experience In Nursing Education

    Faculty may want to simply eject a student from a class, because the faculty is offended, annoyed, or feels that the student has acted in a disrespectful manner; however, it is vitally important for faculty to frame their interactions with the student within an educational framework. 

    Setting standards of conduct within a learning environment is part of the educational and professional preparatory experience. Students learn that there are standards of conduct as well as consequences to not meeting these standards, which contributes to their preparation for their post degree work. 

    Developing the discipline and focus to arrive to class on time will contribute to students’ ability to effectively complete work related duties and helps increase their understanding of the importance of collegiality, connectedness, and teamwork as a means toward achieving a quality working environment. 

    The integrity required to ethically complete laboratory work by submitting only the results that they have personally calculated and not use the work of other students is the same integrity that will be required of graduates when they are in the workforce completing work-related reports.

Responding to Student Misconduct In Nursing Education

    When faculty have reason to believe that a student may be acting inappropriately, there are six steps to use when responding to allegations of misconduct: 

1. Gather and document information. The information should objectively describe the student’s actions and note the date, time, and others who were present. 

2. Engage and confront the student about behaviors observed. At the earliest time possible, meet with the student privately to discuss the behaviors that have been observed. 

    This meeting will inform the student of faculty concerns, allow the student to express his or her perspective on the situation, and provide an opportunity for the student to understand how the behavior affects others and is disrupting the learning outcomes of the course. The script provided earlier in the chapter may be helpful here. 

3. Focus on the behavior. Faculty should always focus on what the student did and not be swayed by ancillary aspects, such as the extent to which one knows or likes the student or the student’s academic record. For instance, high-achieving students are just as likely to plagiarize as average students. It is important to be consistent in what is expected from students. 

4. Outline required new behaviors. The purpose of meeting with the student is to first explore with the student concerns about her or his behavior. If after talking with the student the concerns remain valid, then the second goal of the meeting is to discuss with the student how the behavior should change in the future. 

    Working with the student to change any annoying acts provides the greatest opportunity for a collaborative discussion between the student and the faculty. Any administrative violations of the code of conduct should be documented and forwarded to the appropriate administrative office and, depending on campus policy, may be followed up administratively in addition to actions the faculty has discussed with the student. All criminal conduct should be immediately forwarded to the appropriate campus office and may limit faculty’s ability to outline new behaviors. 

5. Outline consequences of compliance and noncompliance. Faculty interactions with the student should conclude with the hope that the student will choose to make different choices and will choose to comply with the standards that faculty and the campus have established. 

    However, it is also important to be clear with the student that, should he or she fail to comply and continue to disrupt the learning environment, there will be additional follow-up that may include further sanctions. 

6. Refer unresolved or risky cases to other campus resources. If at any time faculty are working with a student and it comes to their attention that the student’s misconduct is not being resolved as planned, or if there is evidence that the incident may escalate in terms of level of disruption or safety to either the faculty or other students, the situation should automatically be referred to other campus resources.

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