Associate Degree Nursing

Nursing Education Programs Professional Behavior Policy

What is professionalism?

Webster defines professionalism as:

  • the skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well
  • the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person (see professional) (Professionalism. (n.d.). Retrieved July 24, 2016, from

A professional nurse maintains a positive attitude, respects the opinions/expertise of others, welcomes constructive feedback, takes the initiative to identify/solve problems, anticipates the needs of others, is a team player, and embraces change as a means of professional growth.


  1. Students are required to abide by RCCC’s policies and procedures as stated in the college catalog.
  2. College students, as adults, are expected to exercise mature and responsible self-discipline, to behave with courtesy and integrity, and to maintain appropriate academic standards as well as appropriate conduct standards. (see Campus Code of Conduct)
  3. Students have no right to impinge on the freedom of instructors to teach or the right of other students to learn. If a student behaves disruptively in class after the instructor has explained the unacceptability of such conduct, the instructor may dismiss the student from the class. (see Campus Code of Conduct)
  4. There will be no “talking” during the class session except by acknowledgment from the instructor or in response to a question.
  5. Students must be on time for each scheduled class session. (see Attendance policy)
  6. Tardiness is considered rude and disruptive; however, each instructor reserves the right to decide if students may enter the room after class has begun. It is recommended that students who are tardy enter after the designated break. Students that are consistently late will be counseled by the NUR faculty.
  7. Students who are tardy on a test day will not be permitted to enter the class and test. These students must follow the policy for missed tests as stated in the NUR course syllabus and the Testing policy.
  8. Students who desire to bring laptop computers for note-taking purposes only, must position themselves in a seating arrangement that does not interfere with the instruction process of others.
  9. All cell phones must be set to vibrate, no audible sounds allowed.
  10. Recording of class activities must be approved by the instructor prior to class.
  11. All individual assignments must be completed independently. Failure to complete assignments independently is a violation of the program Honor Code policy.


Students may not perform any nursing skill without the supervision and/or approval of the clinical instructor.

The PN/ADN student:

  1. Behavior must demonstrate continuity of care through the responsible preparation, implementation, and documentation of the nursing care of patients.
  2. Behavior must be respectful of all individuals (patient, patient’s family, health team members, and self) according to the Patient’s Bill of Rights, the ANA Standards of Care, standards of nursing performance, and the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses. Respectfulness includes knocking before entering a room, addressing patients and families properly without the use of slang, and honoring the diversity, uniqueness, and value of each person.
  3. Behaves in a professional manner at all times.
  4. Follows dress code, presenting with professional attire and behavior during clinical and when obtaining clinical assignments.
  5. Refrains from smoking while in uniform. NO smoking on the clinical agency premises.
  6. All students should arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled clinical time.
  7. Is punctual in reporting to or leaving the clinical agency; when ill, calls the agency and faculty prior to scheduled arrival time.
  8. Adheres to time allotted for lunch and breaks. (Students allowed 30 minutes for lunch. One 15-minute break is permitted when the schedule time exceeds 4 hours and if circumstances permit.) Reports off to the faculty and appropriate personnel when leaving for breaks or at the end of the clinical.
  9. Does not chew gum while on clinical unit.
  10. Refrains from congregating at the desk area and in the hallways.
  11. Parks only in designated areas at the clinical facility.
  12. Students should follow the clinical facility policy regarding the use of electronic devices, such as: cell phones, MP3 players, iPods, and recording devices.
  13. Reports to the Director of Nursing Education prior to the next scheduled class, lab, or clinical if arrested or convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor.
  14. Reports any changes in health status to the Director of Nursing Education prior to the next scheduled class, lab, or clinical. (see Admission Requirements and Health policy)
  15. Is prepared to meet competencies listed on competency audit sheet on the satisfactory performance level without posing safety risk to self or others. (See Attendance Requirements, Admissions Requirements, and Safety policy).
  16. Applies the nursing process for assigned clients according to the hospital policies, unit procedures, and nursing protocol. Submits completed clinical work on time to the assigned instructor the last clinical day of the assigned week’s rotation or per specified directions identified in the NUR course syllabus.
  17. Demonstrates caring for the client’s well-being. This includes being empathetic to client’s needs.
  18. Maintains a quiet, therapeutic environment.
  19. Is adaptable to changing circumstances in the clinical area.
  20. Provides safe and effective nursing care.
    • Checks for updated orders at the beginning of day and throughout the day and implements accordingly.
    • Organizes time, works in an organized manner, and gets care completed on time. Any student who does not complete patient care in a timely manner jeopardizes the patient’s safety.
    • Continually checks client safety and comfort needs throughout the clinical day.
    • Questions situations in which principles of nursing are violated.
  21. Safely and effectively implements all procedures and treatments.
    • Practices and reviews procedures and treatments prior to clinical.
    • Determines basic-care needs and safely performs all procedures without being reminded.
    • Follows hospital and departmental polices with all procedures and treatments. Performs within the policies of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, the Nursing Programs, and the clinical facility. An instructor will be present in situations when there is an exam of the breasts, genitalia, or rectum of both male and female patients as dictated by the following circumstances:
      • If appropriate, as determined by the instructor.
      • If requested by the patient.
      • When there is no compromise to the patient’s safety and well-being.
    • Displays confidence and composure when carrying out procedures and treatments.
    • Shows respect for privacy needs.
  22. Safely and effectively administers medications.
    • Verifies the physician’s orders against the patient’s medication record during clinical preparation time and every A.M. prior to medication time. Reports discrepancies.
    • Checks for medication allergies on chart and Medication Administration Record.
    • Demonstrates knowledge of medications.
    • Calculates medication doses with 100% accuracy (without the use of a calculator).
    • Calculates IV flow rates with 100% accuracy (without the use of a calculator).
    • Assesses the “Five Rights” prior to administering any medication.
    • Verbalized knowledge of appropriate lab values related to medication administration.
    • Evaluates assessment data prior to medication administration.
    • Verified the correct medication and identifying container with the faculty prior to preparation and administration of medication to client.
    • Uses proper technique when preparing and administering medication.
    • Verifies all insulin and heparin dosages with faculty and unit RN.
    • Gives all medication in the allotted time period.
  23. Carries note pad, a black non-erasable pen, scissors, penlight, stethoscope, and has watch with second hand.
  24. Documents accurately, concisely, completely, legibly, and in a timely manner.
    • Documents on appropriate forms without being reminded.
    • Consults faculty when charting abnormal assessment findings.
    • Demonstrates neatness and organization of charting: uses correct terminology, phraseology, and spelling.
    • Follows agency policy regarding documentation (such as using only approved abbreviations and only black ink) and corrects errors in charting according to agency policy.
  25. Uses effective communication skills which demonstrate respect for human dignity toward peers, faculty, and health team members.
    • Demonstrates appropriate verbal and non-verbal behaviors in patient/family care.
    • Avoids saying or doing anything that could cause undue anxiety for the patient or family.
    • Limits discussions of patient information to what is necessary to provide adequate patient care.
    • Communicates as needed with other health-care providers in planning or carrying out the plan of care.
    • Informs the faculty and staff nurse immediately regarding any changes in client’s condition or when any problem is encountered.
    • Is pleasant and courteous during all interactions, using therapeutic communication techniques.
    • Uses constraint with PDA’s to clinical resource research only. (NO Texting)
  26. Evaluates self-performance.
    • Objectively assesses self-performance.
    • A set own goals and objectives, and strives to attain them.
    • Identifies own strengths and weaknesses.
    • Immediately admits mistakes and takes actions to correct them.
    • Accepts constructive criticism without making excuses for behaviors.
    • Assumes responsibility for own actions; knows limitations and when to seek guidance.
  27. Demonstrates appropriate action when notified of emergency signals in accordance with each clinical facility.
  28. Updates CPR, immunizations, and TB test yearly per Nursing Programs policies. Performs CPR correctly and safely when necessary.
  29. Practices within the legal and ethical framework of nursing and is accountable for his/her nursing practice.
  30. Purchases professional liability insurance at the time of initial registration for the NUR sequence and annually while enrolled in the NUR sequence.
  31. Maintains confidentiality related to patient information and follows ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses.
  32. Shows respect for patient and family at all times. Must practice within the boundaries of the Nurse Practice Act of the State of North Carolina, the clinical course competencies, the Nursing Programs policies, the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College policies, and the policies and procedures of the healthcare agencies.
  33. Conforms to policies and faculty directives when placed on “Warning” status due to high risk behaviors. (see High Risk Behavior policy)

*Compliance with this policy is required throughout the entire enrollment in the nursing program. Noncompliance with this policy will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the nursing program.

**The Nursing Program reserves the right to dismiss a student clinical performance for any nursing course is deemed unsafe as characterized by dangerous, inappropriate, irresponsible, or unethical behavior that actually or potentially behavior that actually or potentially places the student, patient, patient’s family, or health team members in jeopardy.