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Undergraduate Professional Performance Subsection: 5.2.36
Section 5.0 - Student Policies Originating Date: December 2016
Responsible Reviewing Agency:
Undergraduate Admission, Progression, Graduation and Scholarship/Grant Committee
General Faculty Organization
Revised: May 2019 (administrative)
Revised: December 2019
Revised: November 2021
Revised: January 2022


The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) College of Nursing (CON) has established principles and methods for the evaluation of student professional conduct. These principles, along with academic performance, guide the decisions related to academic progression, promotion, graduation, and dismissal. Students admitted to the CON are expected to maintain high standards of academic performance (Policy 5.2.18 Undergraduate Progression) and professional conduct. This policy addresses professional conduct.

Nursing students must conduct themselves in a professional manner, and demonstrate the highest concern for patients' welfare and respect for patient’s rights. In addition, they must adhere to the highest standards of intellectual integrity and honesty in their interactions with patients, colleagues, faculty and administrators. Students are expected to adhere to all standards of the UNMC, the CON, and the nursing profession, including the UNMC Code of Conduct, the Nebraska State Board of Nursing Statutes for Regulation and Licensure, the Statutes Relating to the Nebraska Uniform Credentialing Act, the Statutes Relating to the Nebraska Nurse Practice Act, and the American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics.

Code of Student Conduct/Citizenship

Accepting membership into the CON community as a student entails an obligation to promote the CON community’s welfare by assuming the rights and responsibilities listed below. Students, like all members of the academic community, have the responsibility to create and support an educational environment. Each member of the community should be treated with respect and dignity. Each has the right to learn. This right assumes students are here to learn and accept responsibility for their learning and imposes a duty not to infringe upon the rights of others.

Each individual member of this community is responsible for his or her own actions and is expected to be professional and respect the rights of others at all times and in all places, whether in an academic, social, employment, or personal situation. For additional specific information, please reference the UNMC Code of Conduct.

Rights of Student Citizenship

Membership in the UNMC CON community affords every student certain rights that are essential to the College's educational mission and its character as a community:

  • The right to have access to and participate in the academic and non-academic opportunities afforded by the CON and UNMC, subject to applicable standards or requirements.
  • The right to freedom of thought and expression consistent with the UNMC Code of Conduct and the ANA Code of Ethics.
  • The right to be free from discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, genetic information, gender identity or expression, marital or family status, pregnancy, veteran status, or income status or any other protected class recognized by state or federal law.
  • The right to fair CON and UNMC judicial processes in the determination of accountability for conduct.

Responsibilities of Student Citizenship

Students are expected to exhibit responsible behavior regardless of time or place. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action by the CON. Responsible behavior is a standard of conduct which reflects higher expectations than may be prevalent outside the CON and UNMC community. Responsible behavior includes but is not limited to the following obligations:

  • To comply with all provisions of the UNMC Code of Conduct and the ANA Code of Ethics.
  • To respect the health and safety of others. This precludes acts or threats of physical violence against another person (including sexual harassment or violence-see Title IX information at and disorderly conduct. This also precludes the possession of dangerous articles (such as firearms, explosive materials, etc.) on University property, at University events, or when representing oneself as a University student, without University authorization.
  • To respect the rights of fellow students to participate in University organizations and in relationships with other students without fear, threat, or act of hazing.
  • To refrain from conduct towards other students that infringes upon the Rights of Student Citizenship. The CON condemns hate speech, epithets, and racial, ethnic, sexual and religious slurs. However, the content of student speech or expression is not by itself a basis for disciplinary action. Student speech may be subject to discipline when it violates applicable laws or CON or UNMC regulations or policies.
  • To refrain from conduct toward other students and faculty that infringes on their rights to privacy, specifically including audio or video recording of any classroom activities or individual conversations without the express written permission of the nurse, faculty or other students involved.
  • To refrain from stealing, damaging, defacing, or misusing the property or facilities of the College of Nursing, UNMC or of others. This also precludes the disruption of UNMC computing services or interference with the rights of others to use computer resources.
  • To be honest and truthful in dealings with the CON and UNMC about one’s own identity (e.g., name or Social Security number), and in the use of University and other identification.
  • To cooperate fully and honestly in any disciplinary proceedings, including the obligation to comply with all sanctions.
  • To comply with all policies and regulations of the CON and UNMC.
  • To comply with federal, state and local laws.

Code of Academic Integrity

Since the most fundamental value of any academic community is intellectual honesty, all academic communities rely upon the integrity of each and every member. Students are responsible not only for adhering to the highest standards of truth and honesty, but also for upholding the principles and spirit of academic integrity.

Activities that have the effect or intention of interfering with education, pursuit of knowledge, or fair evaluation of a student’s performance are not tolerated in any form. Examples of such activities include but are not limited to the following definitions:

  • Cheating: using or attempting to use unauthorized assistance, material, or study aids in examinations or other academic work or preventing, or attempting to prevent, another from using authorized assistance, material, or study aids (e.g., cheating on an exam, altering a graded exam and resubmitting for a better grade).
  • Fabricating or Falsifying: submitting contrived or altered information in any academic exercise or lying in any situation (e.g., making up data for an experiment, fudging data, citing nonexistent articles, contriving sources, declaring you did not do something when you had or vice versa).
  • Plagiarism: using the ideas, data, or language of another without specific or proper acknowledgment (e.g., copying another person’s paper, article, or computer work and submitting it for an assignment, cloning someone else’s ideas without attribution, failing to use quotation marks where appropriate). The source of any information or content downloaded from the Internet in fulfillment of an assignment must be acknowledged.
  • Multiple submissions: submitting, without prior permission, any work submitted to fulfill another academic requirement.
  • Misrepresentation of academic records: misrepresenting or tampering with or attempting to tamper with any portion of a student’s transcripts or academic record, either before or after admission to UNMC CON (e.g., forging a change of grade notice, tampering with computer records, altering transcripts, falsifying academic information on one’s resume).
  • Facilitating academic dishonesty: knowingly helping or attempting to help another violate any provision of the Code (e.g., working together on a take-home exam).
  • Unfair advantage: attempting to gain unauthorized advantage over fellow students in an academic exercise (e.g., gaining or providing unauthorized access to examination materials, obstructing or interfering with another student’s efforts in an academic exercise, lying about a need for an extension for an exam or paper, continuing to write even when time is up during an exam, destroying or keeping library materials for one’s own use).

If a student is unsure whether his or her action(s) constitute a violation of the Code of Academic Integrity, then it is that student’s responsibility to consult with the Faculty to clarify any ambiguities.

Code of Professionalism for UNMC CON

Current students are considered to be representatives of the CON and the profession of nursing at all times and in all places, whether in an academic, social, employment, or personal situation. As a result, professional conduct is expected at all times and in all places. Professional conduct includes but is not limited to:

  • Adherence to appropriate standards of behavior (demeanor, use of language, appearance and timely response) with patients, students, faculty, colleagues, staff, peers, and all individuals encountered.
  • Adherence to appropriate standards of confidentiality with respect to information about patients and to HIPAA guidelines.
  • Treatment of patients and their families with dignity and respect both in their presence and in discussions with other members of the health care team.
  • Honesty in interactions with clinical and research colleagues and in record keeping.
  • Respect for the limits of responsibility and activity set forth by faculty, collaborating nurses (Preceptors and Clinical Staff Instructors)

Additional references on professionalism include:

  • ANA Code of Ethics
  • National Student Nurses' Association Code of Ethics
  • Nebraska State Board of Nursing Statutes for Regulation and Licensure