Standards of Ethical Conduct and Professional Behavior

Student Professional Behavior

Students may have access to confidential medical/personal client and family information, and to sensitive agency information as part of the course learning experiences. It is of utmost importance that client/agency confidentiality is observed. Information concerning a client/family or agency is not to be discussed outside of the didactic setting. Violation of this policy may result in dismissal from the UHV Nursing Program.

The purpose of this policy is to understand and convey to the nursing students they are representatives of the University and the Nursing Program and should recognize their behavior may influence the opinions of the community regarding the UHV Nursing Program.

The UHV Nursing Program expects its students to represent the organization in a manner that reflects the high standards of personal integrity, education, and service to patients. All students within the Nursing Program expect to conduct themselves by the ethical standards as published in the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics. Please also refer to the Texas Nurse Practice Act and the American Nurses’ Association Scope and Standards for more details on the legal requirements for all nurses. The underlying principles of these standards are based on common courtesy and ethical/moral behavior. These standards are essential for students to grow professionally and to receive the desired trust and respect of all members of the health care professions.

Discussions and or assignments in the online course format will not include names of patients or other identifying information. While it is not the policy of the Nursing Program faculty to routinely monitor students' web sites, if inappropriate postings are brought to their attention, faculty will investigate the report.

Students’ behavior in any setting to include practice learning sites, cyberspace, course learning management system (Canvas), use of photos, regular interactions and all forms of communication as representatives of the UHV Nursing Program is guided by the following:

  • Students will not transmit or place online individually identifiable client/patient information.
  • Students will observe ethically prescribed professional patient-nurse boundaries.
  • Students must understand that patient, faculty, colleagues, institutions, and employers may view postings.
  • Students will utilize privacy settings and seek to separate personal and professional information online.
  • Students should bring the content that could harm a patient's privacy, rights, or welfare to the attention of appropriate authorities.

(ANA, 2011)

Along with the failure to exhibit behaviors that reflect the professional standards for legal/ethical conduct, major infractions of conduct and/or behavior as outlined in the University handbook will be grounds for dismissal from the Nursing Program. These include, but are not limited to, consumption of alcoholic beverages in a course related activity; illegal drug usage; impaired behavior; harmful and/or offensive language, and/or disruptive behavior with peers, faculty or community.

To avoid problems:

  • Do not discuss patients/personnel/institutions or any identifying data in public settings such as cafeterias, elevators, hallways, over the phone, with family or friends, where anyone may overhear you.
  • Discussion of your patient/personnel/institution should only occur in approved settings such as course discussion forum and assignments and without identifying individuals.
  • Use patient/institution initials in all discussions and on written documents submitted to the Nursing department.
  • Destroy all notes and computer-generated papers after completion of assignment at the institution.
  • Protect the integrity of the medical record and do not photocopy or otherwise transmit material from the medical record.
  • If you have concerns about confidentiality, check with your instructor to obtain guidance.
  • Never post any patient/personnel/faculty/other students/institutional information or pictures on social media sites.


Infringements of Professional Behavior Policy may result in sanctions up to and including dismissal from the Nursing Program, notification to the Board of Nursing, as well as, federal prosecution, fines, and imprisonment.


The Nursing Program reserves the right to require the withdrawal of any student whose behavior is determined to endanger the safety or well-being of any individual or whose behavior is deemed unsafe.

UHV Nursing Program Grievance Procedure

In accordance with the Student Grievance Procedures at the UHV, it is the policy of the Nursing Program to receive, process, and resolve student grievances fairly and promptly. The UHV Student Handbook distinguishes between non-academic grievances.

Any student with a concern or grievance should follow the appropriate procedure in the UHV Student Handbook.

Definition of a Formal Complaint

The UHV Nursing Program defines a formal complaint as a report from a student or other constituent that expresses serious concern about the quality of any of our nursing programs or the conduct of a faculty member, staff member or student. A formal complaint should be initiated when all other appropriate departmental, college and/or university channels have failed to produce a satisfactory resolution from the complainant.

Board of Nursing Implications

Inappropriate use of social and electronic media may be reported to the Board of Nursing. The laws outlining the basis for disciplinary action by a Board of Nursing vary between jurisdictions. Depending on the laws of your jurisdiction, a Board of Nursing may investigate reports of inappropriate disclosures on social media by a nurse on the grounds of:

  • Unprofessional conduct; unethical conduct; moral turpitude;
  • mismanagement of patient records;
  • revealing a privileged communication; and
  • breach of confidentiality

Professional Liability Insurance for RN to BSN Students

Nursing is a profession in which its members are accountable. The University provides liability insurance coverage for the RN to BSN student. Coverage obtained in your work setting does not cover you as a student.

General University policies and procedures are published online. University policies, as well as Nursing Program policies and procedures, extend to all sites where students are engaged in the role of nursing student.