Undergraduate Professionalism Policy

Professionalism is an expectation of all professional nursing students. Professional behavior guidelines are intended to ensure safe, ethical, respectful, and professional conduct by nursing students. The following additional guidelines will apply to the educational preparation, experience, knowledge, and conduct of the nursing students enrolled at Washington State University College of Nursing.

Any significant or consistent issues with professionalism will result in a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). Continued failure to adhere to any component of this or other WSU/CON policies may result in academic counseling, review by the UAP Committee, possible failure of the course, and/or dismissal from the program.

In addition to the general student expectations of a WSU student, the following behavior standards are expected of WSU undergraduate nursing students. Please note that specific expectations from a course, agency, or other instructional site may also be required.

Presence Standards:

  • Keep appointments with CON staff and faculty or reach out in advance if you have to reschedule. Keep rescheduling to a minimum.
  • Maintain mature, sensitive, effective, and professional relationships with patients, students, faculty, staff, other professionals, and clinical training site personnel under all circumstances, including highly stressful situations.
  • In the classroom setting, students can demonstrate professionalism by being focused, present, and participatory in the class discussion. Ask questions, clarifications, participate in group activities, as examples. Avoid being distracted by other tasks like texts, phone calls, social media, though it is understandable that you may sometimes have a text or call that cannot wait – take those out of the classroom to avoid disturbing others. In the campus classrooms, the cameras are always on and you are visible to your peers and faculty.
  • If you are attending a class from home, you may have your video camera off, but it is especially important to demonstrate your engagement by participating in discussions, posting reactions when appropriate and participating in group activities.

Emotional Standards:

  • Continually perform self-assessment and seek out additional supervision whenever feedback is provided indicating there is a lack of knowledge or experience for the patient care being performed.
  • Be able to function effectively under stress and adapt to environments that may change rapidly without warning and/or in unpredictable ways as relevant to the program or coursework.
  • Be able to demonstrate empathy for the situations and circumstances of others and appropriately communicate that empathy.
  • Acknowledge that values, attitudes, beliefs, emotions, and experiences affect perceptions and relationships with others.
  • Be able and willing to examine and change behaviors when they interfere with productive individual, team or patient care relationships. Take personal responsibility for learning without deflecting or blaming.
  • Demonstrate an eagerness to learn – be proactive and seek clarification regarding challenges or confusion in a timely manner.

Academic Standards:

  • Successfully complete suggested action plans or interventions to correct knowledge or skill deficit areas. These are created to prevent harm to patients or jeopardized relationships with clinical training site partners.
  • Meet professional expectations set forth by the college or a practice site (such as timely completion of requirements, required on-boarding activities, trainings, arrival and departure time, dress code, masking, or similar requirements)
  • Meet related undergraduate program’s Technical Standards, with or without accommodations.
  • Do not abuse or excessively use course Withdrawals or Leave of Absences

Communication Standards:

  • Have a courteous, respectful, timely, and non-disruptive communication and demeanor to all members of the CON community and beyond.
  • Adhere to CON student communications policy.
  • Respect boundaries around the timing and mode of communication. This includes expecting replies only during normal business hours, contacting CON staff and faculty only through their WSU information (unless otherwise permitted), and being reasonably patient when waiting for replies.
    • Contacting outside of WSU modalities (via texting or with a personal phone) is only to be done with permission, and permission may change at any time. Such contact should also only be done if there is an educational need in order to adhere to FERPA.

When the Director the Center for Student Excellence, or designee, learns of a potential violation of this policy, they will meet with the student to discuss the allegation. After discussing the allegations with the student and reviewing all relevant information, they will determine if the student violated this policy or not, and will note the result in the student file. Violations may result in counseling on professional behavior, referral to UAP committee, removal from a course/clinical setting, CCR report, or recommendation for dismissal from the program.

Policy TitleUndergraduate Professionalism Policy
Policy Inception Date05/2023
Policy Applicable PartyCollege of Nursing Undergraduate Students
Date of Last Change05/2023
Responsible Party, Level I (to create and review)Center for Student Excellence
Responsible Party, Level II (to approve)CON Faculty
Responsible Party, Level III (to implement)Center for Student Excellence