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Home » Student Handbook » Vermont Technical College Department of Nursing

Vermont Technical College Department of Nursing

Introduction


Vermont Technical College
Nursing programs were added to the College curriculum in 1994 when Vermont’s three schools of practical nursing became part of the Vermont Tech community – Fanny Memorial School for Practical Nursing, Putnam Memorial School of Practical Nursing and Thompson School for Practical Nurses. Beginning in the fall of 1996, the Certificate of Practical Nursing became a credit-bearing program that can also be applied toward a two-year associate’s degree in nursing from Vermont Tech.

Fanny Allen/Williston Campus
The Fanny Allen Memorial School for Practical Nursing was founded on June 28, 1957, and the first class entered on November 18, 1957. The school was housed in the Fanny Allen Hospital which is now Fletcher Allen Health Care – Fanny Allen Campus.  The original curriculum was based on the National Association for Practical Nursing Education and Service (NAPNES) statement that said, “Candidates will be trained in the care of medical and surgical patients, in the diet kitchens, with the aged, with mothers, with newborn infants, and with children.”

Now, the Fanny Allen/Williston Campus is in Williston, minutes away from downtown Burlington, the University of Vermont, St. Michaels College, and Champlain College.  The physical plant is spacious, light, and airy. The clinical facilities— the Birchwood Terrace Nursing Home and Fletcher Allen Health Care—more than meet the educational needs of nursing students.  It features a state-of-the art simulation lab.

Bennington Campus
The Putnam Memorial School of Practical Nursing was established in 1946 by the Board of Corporators of the Putnam Memorial Hospital. It was the eighth school of practical nursing in the country to be nationally accredited by the National Association for Practical Nurse Education and Service.

In the early years, the students were involved in an apprentice-style, service-oriented program where licensure was permissive rather than mandatory. In 1970, the Board of Corporators of the hospital, through Bennington County legislators, petitioned the state legislature for additional financial assistance to operate the school. In 1971, the school’s parent organization became the Vermont State Department of Education.  The Putnam Memorial School of Practical Nursing has been the recipient of four Helene Fuld Trust grants and these funds have been used to buy nursing arts laboratory equipment, computers, office and kitchen equipment, and student lounge furniture. 
In the fall of 2012, the school moved to its new location at 210 South Street, Bennington. All clinical facilities are within walking distance.

Thompson/Brattleboro Campus
The Thompson School for Practical Nurses is the oldest continuously operating school for practical nurse education in the United States, opening in 1907. It was started in response to the needs of birthing mothers and the needs of women joining the workforce as shop girls, needle women, and seamstresses during the Industrial Revolution.

During the summer of 1861, while the North and South were in the throes of civil war, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Thompson vacationed in Brattleboro, Vermont. Mrs. Thompson became very interested in the women who gathered in Brattleboro to sew garments for the soldiers for very little pay. In time, Mr. and Mrs. Thompson dedicated their considerable wealth to establish a trust fund for the relief of poor seamstresses, needlewomen, and shop girls in Brattleboro and Rhinebeck, New York. By court degree, two-thirds of the income from the estate was to go to Brattleboro, and one-third to Rhinebeck; although the sewing women were named as special beneficiaries, the court ruled that the will allow for other activities, including the building of a hospital in Brattleboro.

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital did not have a resident trained nurse when it opened in 1904. A group of fifteen local churchwomen were called together in 1907 by Richard Bradley, one of the three first trustees appointed for administrating the Thomas Thompson Trust Fund. This group, the Brattleboro Mutual Aid Association, had as its objective to supply those needs in sickness that is not now properly covered by current hospital service, the visiting nurses, or by unorganized private nursing.

From a house on Harris Place, a nurse training course began. The graduates were called Mutual Aid Nursing Attendants, and they cared for the sick in their homes. From this humble beginning, the Thompson School for Practical Nurses began.

Extended & Northeast Kingdom (NEK) Sites
In 2000, the Community College of Vermont (CCV), Vermont Technical College, and Vermont Interactive Technologies (VIT) collaborated to develop and implement a two-year practical nursing program. The communities that participated were Middlebury, Newport, and Morrisville. In each of these communities, students completed a basic skills assessment and, if determined to be “college ready”, enrolled in 14 credits of practical nursing foundational course work, i.e., Human Growth and Development, Nutrition, and Anatomy and Physiology I and II. This represented year one of the program.

In 2001, students who had successfully completed the above 14 credits, enrolled in the Vermont Tech practical nursing program. The didactic portion of the program was delivered over VIT, allowing the students to remain community-based. The clinical experiences were completed at settings within each community.

In the fall of 2004, the expansion continued in five communities: St. Albans, Springfield, Newport, White River Junction, and Middlebury. CCV, VIT, and Vermont Tech will renew their partnership to provide nursing education to a broad constituency in Vermont.

In the fall of 2009, the Extended Site separated into two divisions.  These sites include:  Extended Site: St. Albans (ADN & PN), Middlebury, Springfield and White River Junction (PN); NEK Site:  Lyndonville, Newport, and White River Junction (ADN), Lyndonville, Middlebury and Newport (PN).

In the fall of 2012, the Extended Site lost Middlebury and started an ADN site in Rutland.  The NEK Site lost Morrisville.  As for the fall of 2013, the Extended Site has sites at St. Albans (ADN & PN), Springfield and White River Junction (PN); the NEK Site has sites at Lyndonville, Newport and White River Junction (ADN), Lyndonville and Newport (PN). 

Philosophy 
Nursing is a discipline and a profession, a science and art grounded in caring that provides holistic person-centered care with respect and dignity while promoting the health of society.  Nursing theoretical perspectives guide the program of study.  Individuals possess unique spiritual, social, cultural, intellectual, and physical attributes and have varying capabilities.  The nature of our state and demographic trends are important in planning, as nurses’ focus on the health and wellness desires and needs of a dynamic multicultural society, maximizing living quality throughout life.

Collaboration among faculty and students encourages a spirit of inquiry, personal growth, and societal development.  The career ladder model offers a smooth transition for the Practical Nurse graduate to advance to the Associate and then to the Bachelor’s level.  Providing this opportunity is our responsibility as educators.  There are different entry levels within nursing.  The Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), an integral part of nursing within the health field, utilizes the nursing process under the direction of a Registered Nurse (RN), licensed physician, or dentist.  Nurse education prepares the LPN to master competence in basic nursing skills to deliver care for patients whose conditions are relatively stable.  LPNs provide teaching, maintain safe practice, and execute leadership within the scope of their practice and are responsible for maintaining and improving their competencies through continuing education.

The Associate of Science Degree Nurse (ADN) represents the entry level for the RN.  The ADN collaborates with other health-team members, utilizes the nursing process incorporating evidence from research to establish a plan of care for individuals with complex health problems across the life span.  The ADN delegates and supervises nursing interventions, maintains safe practice, provides teaching, and advocates for patients.  The ADN demonstrates responsibility with complex health problems across the life span.  The ADN graduate recognizes the importance of continuing education, research, and professional development, actively participating in committees, and professional and community organizations.

The Bachelor of Science Degree Nurse (BSN) is an evolving scholar striving for excellence as an innovative problem-solver incorporating holistic, multi-cultural, caring principles into practice.  The BSN forms collaborative partnerships within organizations and communities, influencing health reform and policy, locally and globally.  Utilizing advanced communication techniques, theory, health assessment, management, and leadership skills, the BSN mentors others in planning care, building evidence-based solutions, conducting research that contributes to the discipline, teaching, and advocating for the patient’s as well as social and economic events that influence the nursing role, communicating effectively with stakeholders involved in healthcare, utilizing critical thinking skills, and participating with the international or local community.  BSNs manage information, incorporate technological developments to provide high-quality care, and provide transformational leadership to guide the direction of nursing and the future of health care.

Nurses are life-long learners who recognize that individuals, families, and communities attain life quality and meaning uniquely.  Using the ladder model, nurses can unite to integrate simultaneity and totality paradigm perspectives across borders, with all parts considered meaningful, yet together worth more than a sum of the parts, for the betterment of nursing and humanity.

Practical Nursing Program Terminal Outcomes
Each graduate of the practical nursing program, having proceeded in his/her course of study from an understanding of the concepts of normal to abnormal, simple to complex, and utilizing the program’s conceptual framework as a basis, will provide individualized nursing care as follows:

I.   Nursing Process
With guidance, employs the nursing process for selected clients to maintain, achieve, or regain their optimal level of self-care.
II. Scientific Principles
Integrates knowledge of scientific, behavioral, and cultural principles in the care of selected clients in a variety of settings.
III. Communication
Establishes collaborative relationships with members of the nursing and health team.
IV. Ethical/Legal
Supports the use of legal and ethical standards at the practical nurse level.
V. Nursing Role
Assumes the role of member of the interdisciplinary team as a graduate practical nurse.
VI. Provider of Care
Provides care which maximizes the self-care potential of individuals across the lifespan in a variety of health care settings.
VII. Teaching/Learning
Contributes to the development of a teaching plan for the client with an alteration in basic self-care needs.
VIII. Accountability/Self-Growth
Assumes responsibility for self-directed, goal-oriented growth.

Code of Ethics for Practical/Vocational Nurses
(Courtesy of the National Association for Practical Nurse Education and Services, Inc.)
The Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse Shall:
  1. Consider as a basic obligation the conservation of life and the prevention of disease.
  2. Promote and protect the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health of the patient and his family.
  3. Fulfill all duties faithfully and efficiently.
  4. Function within established legal guidelines.
  5. Accept personal responsibility for his/her acts and seek to merit the respect and confidence of all members of the health team.
  6. Hold in confidence all matters coming to his/her knowledge, in the practice of his/her profession, and in no way and at no time violate this confidence.
  7. Give conscientious service and charge just remuneration.
  8. Learn and respect the religious and cultural beliefs of his/her patient and of all people.
  9. Meet his/her obligation to the patient by keeping abreast of current trends in health care through reading and continuing education.
  10. As a citizen of the United States of America, uphold the laws of the land and seek to promote legislation that will meet the health needs of its people.
Associate Degree Nursing Program Outcomes
In addition to the general requirements of all Vermont Tech associate degree programs, as outlined in the Vermont Tech catalogue, the following program outcomes are expected for the Associate in Science degree with a major in Nursing:

I. Nursing Process
Evaluates the plan of care, to assist clients with complex health care needs to maintain, achieve or regain their optimal level of self-care.
II. Scientific Principles
Selects appropriate scientific, behavioral, and cultural principles for the care of clients with complex needs in diverse settings.
III. Communication
Evaluates interpersonal skills in professional practice.
IV. Ethical/Legal 
Incorporates into nursing practice legal/ethical standards of professional practice.
V. Nursing Role
Assumes the role of manager of care within the interdisciplinary team as a graduate professional nurse.
VI. Provider of Care
Competently delivers nursing care which maximizes the self-care potential of individuals with complex health needs in diverse settings.
VII. Teaching/Learning
Evaluates a comprehensive teaching plan to meet the physical and emotional needs of individuals and groups with common and complex health care needs.
VIII. Accountability Self-Growth
Is accountable for growth as individuals, as members of society, and as professional nurses.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Outcomes
Each graduate of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, having progressed from understanding of the concepts of normal to abnormal, simple to complex, and utilizing the program's conceptual framework as a basis, will in addition to the general requirements of all Vermont Tech Bachelor degree programs as outlined in the Vermont Tech catalogue, integrate and synthesize the following program outcomes as follows:
 
I. Nursing Process
Collaborates with clients, the interdisciplinary team, and multiple care providers when planning care to establish client centered goals to optimize wellness outcomes, and evaluate care plan effectiveness, for the individual and community.
II. Scientific Principles
Engages applied sciences, including scientific, behavioral, psychological, and cultural principles for the care of complex clients, that incorporates global appreciation, understanding and tolerance; additionally, designs evidence based practice care, incorporating and participating in qualitative research to generate theory, and/or quantitative research to test theory.  Distinguishes between experimental positivistic empirical approaches and non-experimental research designs, defining strengths, weaknesses, the importance of rigor and replicable findings, statistical analysis, and threats to validity, such as bias.
III. Communication
Determines utilization of collaborative relationships with the health team and the community to facilitate communication of team members to enhance care, promote mentorship, and strategize utilization of technology, embracing diversity  while evolving therapeutic communication techniques of presencing and dialogical exchange.
IV. Ethical/Legal
Integrates legal and ethical standards that encompass consideration of potential ethical dilemmas, promoting self-integrity as well as consideration of benefit to the community.
V. Nursing Role
Coordinates and co-leads the interdisciplinary team, advocates for clients by compassionately caring for people and families using the art and science of nursing in theoretically based practice, helps people flourish/ find optimal meaning in their lived experiences, demonstrates sound nursing judgment, utilizes critical thinking, develops scholarship, and ascertains how to promote the healthiest possible community.
VI. Provider of Care
Maximizes patient-centered care by co-creating health with clients, empowering people, facilitating comfort, and incorporates health promotion, essentially synthesizing integration of the simultaneity and totality paradigm.
VII. Teaching/Learning
Designs a holistic teaching plan with understanding of the person, health, environment, and nursing—the nursing metaparadigm concepts, from the perspective of multiple theorists, including Rosemary Rizzo Parse, Patricia Benner, Madeleine Leininger, Dorothea Orem and Jean Watson. A spirit of inquiry and community is encouraged.
VIII. Accountability/Self-Growth
Continually striving for excellence through ongoing engagement in self-directed life-long learning, with participation as an active member of society in their community working with and/or becoming leaders and developing their professional identity, and ability to work with teams to create innovative, or evidence-based solutions to problems.

ANA Code for Nurses
  • The nurse, in all professional relationships, practices with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth and uniqueness of every individual, unrestricted by considerations of social or economic status, personal attributes, or the nature of health problems.
  • The nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient, whether an individual, family, group, or community.
  • The nurse promotes, advocates for, and strives to protect the health, safety, and rights of the patient.
  • The nurse is responsible and accountable for individual nursing practice and determines the appropriate delegation of tasks consistent with the nurse’s obligation to provide optimum patient care.
  • The nurse owes the same duties to self as to others, including the responsibility to preserve integrity and safety, to maintain competence, and to continue personal and professional growth.
  • The nurse participates in establishing, maintaining, and improving healthcare environments and conditions of employment conducive to the provision of quality health care and consistent with the values of the profession through individual and collective action.
  • The nurse participates in the advancement of the profession through contributions to practice, education, administration, and knowledge development.
  • The nurse collaborates with other health professionals and the public in promoting community, national, and international efforts to meet health needs.
  • The profession of nursing, as represented by associations and their members, is responsible for articulating nursing values, for maintaining the integrity of the profession and its practice, and for shaping social policy.

American Nurses Association (2001) Center for Ethics and Human Rights.  600 Maryland Ave.  SW., Suite 100 West, Washington, DC. 20019

Vermont Technical College Nursing Program Conceptual Framework
The conceptual framework of the Vermont Technical College nursing programs views each individual as a uniquely functioning human being affected by the environment, the community, the family, and by all significant relationships in a complex and dynamic society.  Additionally, the program regards the individual as one who aspires toward a maximum level of self-care in spite of currently existing health deficits.  As a result, the curriculum for the preparation of both practical nurses and associate degree registered nurses has been designed utilizing Dorothea Orem’s Theory of Self-Care within the conceptual framework.

The teaching/learning of the nursing student proceeds in a sequential fashion from simple to complex and normal to abnormal. Additionally, students are introduced to the concepts of health promotion as well as health maintenance.  The academic program includes a broad range of courses designed to introduce the student to intellectual thought processes.  Interwoven throughout the program of learning are the threads of the conceptual framework and critical thinking exercises which demonstrate the decision-making capacity of students as they progress through the program.  The threads are:  the nursing process, scientific principles, communication theory, ethical/legal principles, an understanding of the nursing role as a member of the interdisciplinary team, an understanding of the role of provider of care, teaching/learning principles, and responsibility for accountability/self-growth.

Clinical Evaluations

Self Evaluations
As part of clinical experiences, nursing students will be expected to complete self-evaluations. The criteria addressed on the evaluation are identical to the clinical objectives found on the course syllabus. In completing the self-evaluation form, students are to consider the following:

  1. Has the objective been met?
  2. How (in what manner) was the objective met?
  3. What are your clinical strengths?
  4. What areas in your clinical experiences need improvement?
  5. How are you meeting clinical objectives as they relate to theory?
Self-evaluations provide an opportunity for the student to analyze individual behaviors and receive feedback and validation from the clinical instructor. Individual communication about clinical objectives is facilitated when the student and the clinical instructor review the student’s progress as the rotation proceeds. Evaluations will reflect clinical expectations at each semester level.

Instructor Evaluations
The clinical instructor will complete clinical evaluations. Student absences are documented. The student and the clinical instructor will meet privately and discuss evaluations. The evaluation will be signed by the student and the clinical instructor. The student may state disagreement with the clinical instructor’s evaluation, either verbally or in writing, and then sign the form. Signing the evaluation indicates that it has been read.

Satisfactory Behavior Examples
  • Utilizes the nursing process in the delivery of client care
  • Demonstrates respect for the dignity of self, client, family, and professions in all settings through actions, attitude, and appearance
  • Transfers previous and present knowledge of the objectives to the experiences
  • Initiates and maintains self-direction
  • Applies theory, principles, and skills at expected level
  • Demonstrates progressive semester level skill development
  • Recognizes own limitations
  • Seeks guidance when needed
  • Maintains confidentiality in the nurse/client relationship
  • Accepts responsibility for own actions
  • Demonstrates independent functioning in a progressive manner
  • Functions as a member of the health care team
A passing grade in clinical must be earned to pass nursing courses.

At any time during the semester, if a student demonstrates an unsatisfactory behavior, the student will be informed and the behavior will be documented on the anecdotal note. At the discretion of the instructor, a Level I Clinical Warning may be issued for a non-starred behavior or a repetitive unsatisfactory behavior. If the unsatisfactory behavior is a starred (*) item, a Level I Clinical Warning will be issued. The Level I Clinical Warning report will state the problem, the discussion, and the subsequent recommendations. If unsatisfactory performance continues, or if improvement does not occur, the student will be counseled, and a Level II Clinical Warning report will be completed. If unsatisfactory performance continues, the student will receive a Final Clinical Level III Warning report. If, at the conclusion of the semester, the student’s clinical performance does not warrant removal from Level III Warning status, the student has failed the clinical portion of the course. At each warning step, the student has the right to initiate an Appeal which must be submitted within 48 hours in writing to the Director of Nursing Education Programs. Students may review this documentation at any time with the Site Director, their faculty advisor, or the Director of the Nursing Education Programs.

Level I, II, and III Clinical Warnings

Level I Clinical Warning
The clinical instructor and the student will have a conference concerning the need for improvement of unsatisfactory or unsafe performance. A written Level I Clinical Warning report along with an Anecdotal Note describing the situation(s) will be placed in the student’s record, and the student will receive a copy of this conference form within one week of the incident. The clinical instructor will provide a copy of this warning to the Site Director. If the unsatisfactory or unsafe performance reappears, or any other pattern of inappropriate behavior occurs, a Level II Clinical Warning will be given.

Level II Clinical Warning
A Level II Clinical Warning may be issued for recurrence of a specific performance for which the student has previously received a Level I Clinical Warning or additional inappropriate performance of a different nature subsequent to the original Level I Clinical Warning.  The clinical instructor and the student will have a conference concerning the need for improvement of unsatisfactory or unsafe performance.  A written Level II Clinical Warning report clearly describing the situation(s), the specific performance observed, a summary of the discussion of the specific performance, and the rationale and plan for remediation will be placed in the student’s record.  The student will receive a copy of this conference form within one week of the incident.  The clinical instructor will provide a copy of this Warning to the Site Director.

Level III Final Clinical Warning
If the clinical instructor notes that Level II Clinical Warning performance has continued or that additional unsatisfactory performance occurred, the student will receive a Level III Clinical Warning.  This will be discussed at a faculty meeting.  The student will be required to meet with faculty to participate in the corrective action plan and goal setting.  The student may bring a support person who will be a silent witness.  The student may remain on a Level III Clinical Warning, and could receive multiple Level III Clinical Warnings until the end of the semester if performance does not improve.  Level III clinical warnings are equivalent to failure.  At the discretion of the clinical instructor, faculty, or Site Director, the student on a Level III warning may be placed in a "one-on-one" clinical experience to determine whether the student can safely be supervised in a clinical group.  If during the “one-on-one” experience sufficient improvement is not able to be demonstrated, the student will have earned a failing clinical grade, and will be dismissed from the Program. If a student remains on a Level III warning at the end of the semester, the student will receive a failing clinical grade.
*Note: If the specific unsatisfactory performance is of grave nature (as judged by the faculty, clinical instructor, Site Director, Director of the Nursing Education Programs and Dean of Academic Affairs), immediate administrative dismissal may be in order.  Performance of a grave nature includes, but is not limited to: serious safety violations; actions inconsistent with scope of practice; and unlawful or unethical acts.  Also, at the discretion of the clinical instructor, faculty, or Site Director, a student may be given a Level II or Level III Clinical Warning at any point in time on the severity of the performance. Prior to an administrative dismissal, the Director of the Nursing Education Programs will discuss the student’s performance with the Dean of Academic Affairs.

Appeals
Students have the right to due process.  While the student is in the appeals process, he/she may remain in the program and participate fully in all course work until a determination on the appeal is made. The only exception is the appeal of a clinical dismissal for patient safety violations. In this case, the student will be suspended from the clinical environment, until a decision regarding the appeal is final. Appeals of clinical warnings will be evaluated and a final determination made by the Director of the Nursing Education Programs.

Other Clinical Guidelines
  1. Students are NOT allowed to witness the signing of consent forms, wills, or other documents.
  2. Nurses have a legal and moral obligation to hold in confidence any information pertaining to the client. Violation of the client's right to privacy will result in disciplinary actions by the faculty, and may result in dismissal from program and/or legal action.
  3. Vermont Tech nursing students MUST NOT visit friends, relatives, or other patients when they are in the clinical area functioning under the supervision of an instructor. Student visits during visiting hours must conform to behaviors as any other lay visitor. Vermont Tech is NOT responsible for student action or behaviors in these circumstances. Avoid visiting when in uniform.
  4. Co-signing charts policy: The patients chart shall be co-signed by the instructor per agency protocol. The nursing instructor's signature means that the information written by the student is truthful and accurate to the best of the instructor's knowledge while supervising up to 10 students in the clinical area.

Simulation Policy
Philosophy – Simulation is used to enhance, reinforce and apply nursing theory in the clinical setting.  The simulation lab provides a safe, supportive and positive environment where students develop problem solving skills, enhanced communication skills, teamwork, and the opportunity to experience clinical decision making and critical thinking skills that meet defined learning outcomes. Simulation clinical days have the same requirements as for all clinical days including attendance, preparation and learning outcomes.
Mission – Our mission for the simulation program is to contribute to life-long learning.  In the simulation experience, students are active participants in a safe environment that is facilitated by dedicated experience staff.  This solid grounding in underlying scientific principles and technical skills helps students translate learning from the lab to the vast variety of our urban and rural clinical settings.
Vision – Striving to meet the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL) guidelines, the multidisciplinary lab will provide state-of-the-art simulation experiences that will promote collaborative inter-professional learning that supports and enhances statewide healthcare education and will improve patient care and safety across healthcare.

The benefits of simulation include:
  • Enrichment and enhancement of course content
  • Ability to creating practice experiences not readily available in the clinical setting
  • Emphasize patient safety
  • Build effective communication skills with patients and families
  • Providing a safe place that allows students to make mistakes and learn from their mistakes while not jeopardizing patient safety
  • Builds self-confidence
  • Reinforces application of theory into practice in an efficient and focused manner
  • Encourages reflective thinking by students in the debriefing process
  • Provides “realistic” role playing
  • Enhances professional communication and health care team synergy
  • Promotes learning through collaboration
  • Alignment with the INACSL standards will allow Vermont Technical College to advance to the cutting edge of simulation education
ReAdmission After Clinical Dismissal
Any student, who has been dismissed for clinical failure and would like to request readmission to the Vermont Tech nursing programs, will submit this request in writing to the Director of the Nursing Education Programs. Such a letter should discuss action taken by the student to alleviate or correct the problem which led to the clinical failure. All students’ petitions will be presented to the Faculty for consideration. The Faculty will discuss the issue, and recommend admission or not-readmission to the Program Director. The student will be notified of this recommendation by letter. Students who have been out of the program for more than one year will have to repeat the entire program. Student who has been out for less than one year will have to write a letter requesting readmission into the program and will be required to retake the final exams for the semester in which they left. Additional criteria related to readmission after clinical failure is as follows:
  1. No student will be readmitted to the program more than once. 
  2. No student who was dismissed from the nursing program for unsafe clinical performance will be readmitted. 
Program/Ethical Standards for Students' Manner
  • converses in an effectively well-modulated voice with peers, faculty, agencies, staff, and patients
  • advocates for patients, families, visitors, and co-workers
  • focuses communication on the patient, not on self
  • addresses the patient by their formal name unless the patient requests otherwise
  • conducts self in the classroom in a professional, respectful manner
Attitude
  • accepts directions and suggestions from instructor or team member (initiates discussion whenever necessary)
  • accepts and uses constructive criticism from instructor or team member (initiates discussion if not in agreement)
  • demonstrates honesty by responsibly completing what they said they would do
  • respects property rights of others by not stealing, borrowing without permission, or damaging others’ property
  • maintains confidentiality by discrete transfer of information
  • deals with stressful situations by obtaining appropriate assistance from instructors and appropriate health team members

Relationships
  • maintains a constructive dialogue with staff, instructors, patients, or peers in matters relating to patient care
  • shares plan of care (verbal or written) with team member
  • volunteers assistance without jeopardizing own patient assignments
  • maintains appropriate nurse-patient relationship   

Dependability
  • reports on and off clinical practice on time and to the proper individual 
  • starts assignment promptly
  • proceeds independently with familiar procedures and treatments
  • completes assignment
  • reports any incomplete assignments to the responsible individual allowing time for work completion by appropriate others
  • complies with school attendance policies
  • notifies proper person for unavoidable tardiness/ absences according to school attendance policy

Responsibility
  • is consistently prepared for clinical practice
  • carries out safe nursing care whether under supervision or not
  • seeks guidance whenever necessary to carry out safe nursing care
  • conveys (verbal or written) results to instructor of findings suggested for independent study
  • submits written material which is the product of own research
  • reports errors immediately
  • practices within the limits of the Nurse Practice Act
  • accepts consequences of own actions through the use of “I” statements
  • wears uniform according to school policy
  • when unable to attend class, obtains any information missed from instructors/peers
  • follows the policies (smoking, documentation, etc.) of the various facilities
  • takes examinations without incorporating the work of others

Note: Students whose behavior is not consistent with these standards may be subject to dismissal from the program.

Social Media Policy
Vermont Technical College (VTC) students have an ethical and legal obligation to maintain patient privacy and confidentiality at all times.  This includes upholding the provisions set forth under federal law (HIPPA).  The VTC Social Media Policy (SMP) provides guidance to students, faculty, staff and our clinical affiliates and establishes consequences if the SMP has been violated.
Guidelines:
  1. Student nurses must adhere to legal and ethical responsibilities and VTC student conduct policies.
  2. Student nurses must adhere to clinical agency policies regarding their responsibility to protect patient privacy whether on line or off line.  This includes protecting patients’ name and any information that may lead to the identification of a patient.
  3. Student nurses must maintain professional boundaries in the use of electronic media.  This means establishing, communicating and enforcing professional boundaries with patients in the on-line environment.
  4. Student nurses may not share, post or otherwise disseminate any information including images about a patient or information gained in the nurse-patient relationship with anyone unless there is a patient care-related need to disclose the information or other legal obligation to do so.
  5. Student nurses are discouraged from interacting with patients using social media.
  6. Student nurses should evaluate all their social media postings with the understanding that a patient, colleague, educational institution or employer could potentially view those postings.
  7. Student nurses as the patient’s advocate have an ethical obligation to take appropriate action regarding instances of questionable healthcare delivery at an individual or systems level that reflect incompetent, unethical, illegal, or impaired practice.  Student nurses who view social media content posted by a colleague that violates ethical or legal standards should bring the questionable content to the attention of the colleague and the VTC nursing faculty/staff so that appropriate action can be taken.
A suspected violation of the SMP will result in the following actions:
  1. An investigation of the suspected violation will be conducted by the VTC nursing faculty/staff and a report of findings will be presented to the Director of Nursing Education Program Education Program.
  2. Consideration will be given to determine the intent of the student nurse.  Remediation will be provided consistent with the nature of the violation.
  3. If the violation is determined to be of serious nature, consequences will reflect the nature of the violation and may include administrative dismissal from the nursing program.
Closing (School)
Closing and delays stemming from inclement weather have historically been very rare at the nursing programs. Because hospitals do not close, our nursing students must become accustomed to planning ahead for inclement weather. However, if weather is such that closing or delayed opening is advisable, a decision will be made by 6:00 a.m. and will be carried as soon as possible in the school delay announcements of the radio stations posted on your school bulletin board, communicated by telephone tree, or placed on the Moodle web site. Closings may vary by site; not all sites may be closed on any given day. 

Class Organization
Each class shall elect a representative who shall conduct affairs of the class according to Robert’s Rules of Order and with the guidance/approval of the Faculty Advisor. A class leader or leaders shall serve on the committees which have student representation.

Fire/Evacuation Procedure
Students will be apprised of the procedure for the evacuation of the college or clinical environments at each site. This information will be imparted during orientation, in Fire/Evacuation Procedure: NUR1111, on each clinical unit and on each college bulletin board.

Clinical Agency Policy
When students are in the clinical agency, they are expected to abide by agency rules and regulations, as well as the school site regulations. 

Student Health Policy
Students are responsible for their own health care and incurred costs. When students become ill or injured while in class or in the clinical area, they are to report to the instructor to assist in arrangements for patient care. The Site Director of the school will always be notified of any illness or injury.

The hospital emergency room is designed to care for true emergencies, NOT colds, sore throats, etc. Students are responsible for their own medical bills. Students will be expected to provide proof of health insurance or carry the Vermont Technical Colleges student health insurance policy.

The Site Director may request a physical examination or medical clearance from a health care provider if this seems necessary. For the protection of the student, the patients, or other students, any exposure to infectious disease must be reported to the Site Director.

Requirements for clinical
Completion of the physical exam form and immunization form is a requirement. Students must maintain current CPR certification at the Health care provider or professional rescuer level. 

VERMONT TECHNICAL COLLEGE DEPARTMENT OF NURSING 

GRADING SYSTEM

 
Students must complete each nursing (NUR) course in the foundational areas of their major with a “C” or higher.  Any grade that is lower than a 75 (in each NUR course) will prevent the student’s progression in the nursing program. Students must complete all other non-NUR courses with a “C” to progress in the program.

For all NUR courses and PSY 1050 (taught at Vermont Technical College):  Assignments and exam grades will be calculated to the nearest tenth, and the final course grade will be calculated to the nearest tenth and will not be rounded. 

Academics: The Grading System is as follows:

GradeQuality Points
A = 95 - 1004.0
A- = 90 - 943.7
B+ = 87 - 893.3
B = 84 - 863.0
B- = 80 - 832.7
C+ = 77 - 792.3
C = 75 - 762.0 (minimum passing grade)
74 or below = Failure to progress 
C- = 70 - 741.7
D+ = 67 - 691.3
D = 64 - 66
1.0
D- = 60 - 63
0.7
F = Below 60
0.0
NUR Principles and Practices
Clinical/Laboratory
P = 75 - 100
NP = <75


0.0
0.0



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