When individuals embark upon careers in the health professions, they must demonstrate the personal and professional integrity necessary to maintain the fundamental trust that society places on these respected professions. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis expects students to develop the interpersonal skills, professional comportment and positive attitudes necessary to function in a manner that is consistent with professional practice.

Students at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing are obligated to be aware of and subscribe to codes of conduct which are adopted at the levels of the university, the Davis campus, UC Davis Health and the School of Nursing. In addition, students are expected to demonstrate the following behaviors that are integral to service as a health professional:

Domain 1: Accountability

  • Attends required class and clinical sessions (as detailed in syllabus); participates actively; is punctual, prepared and attentive
  • Fulfills responsibilities on time without needing reminders
  • Works diligently and perseveres to complete program curriculum
  • Requests waivers or time extensions (for assignments and tests etc.) only in extenuating circumstances
  • Demonstrates ethical academic conduct (no cheating, sharing unauthorized information, plagiarism, etc.)
  • Respectful to colleagues, faculty, patients and families
  • Follows clinical site and classroom dress codes and grooms appropriately

Domain 2: Teamwork and collaboration

  • Accepts constructive feedback without resistance or defensiveness
  • Strives for a positive attitude when faced with new or stressful situations
  • Knows and accurately assesses personal abilities and limitations in knowledge and skills, seeks assistance as indicated
  • Adopts recommendations from others to improve learning or performance
  • Collaborates and interacts positively with others (e.g., students, faculty, staff, other providers) demonstrating mutual trust, recognition and respect

Domain 3: Clinical behavior (applicable for students in clinical programs)

  • Demonstrates ability to deliver effective care in all settings and to all populations regardless of age, race, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status
  • Acts in the best interest of patients, displaying good judgment in assessment and treatment; responding to patient needs in timely, safe and effective manner
  • Processes and appropriately communicates information about patients’ health status to patient, family and health care team
  • Acts within scope of his or her role in all settings
  • Demonstrates respect for the confidentiality rights of patients and for the privacy and reputation of the organization and health care team colleagues
  • Demonstrates effective, sensitive written and oral communication with patients, families, peers, faculty and colleagues at all times
  • Establishes or maintains appropriate boundaries with patients, family members, fellow students, faculty and staff
  • Advocates for patient and family with the health care team
  • Reports errors, unsafe practices, environmental concerns or issues for improvement by following institutional guidelines and notifying those who can take action
  • Promotes patient safety by consistently demonstrating respect for and civility toward colleagues

Significant professional breaches

The list of behaviors below are examples of professional breaches that could lead to disciplinary action by a health care employer or licensing board. If exhibited during or associated with a student’s clinical activities, these behaviors and other conduct contrary to the standards of professionalism may result in course failure. Other sanctions, including but not limited to dismissal and disqualification, may also be applied.

  • Violation of patient confidentiality or HIPAA violation
  • Disparaging a patient in a public setting (including through social media)
  • Failure to respect appropriate professional boundaries in interactions with patients and others in the health care environment
  • Discrimination against, harassment of, or failure to care for a patient based on his or her race, age, gender, religion, national origin, medical condition, physical or mental disability, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship, ability to speak English or status as a covered veteran
  • Failure to recognize and understand professional and personal limitations
  • Use of legal or illegal substances that could impair judgment
  • Gross negligence or gross neglect
  • Fabrication, falsification or intentional omission of written or verbal clinical data
  • Refusal to perform tasks as directed by clinical supervisor or preceptor
  • Providing care to a patient in contravention of clinical supervisor’s or preceptor’s instructions

To serve ethically and capably as a health professional, a student must master a body of knowledge, master a set of clinical skills and conform to high standards of professionalism. These professional standards should be practiced during one’s clinical education and beyond.