Just read your post Barb and just about fell off my chair! This exact same thing happened to me. The VP of Nursing called the Dean of the local City College Nursing Program and had me removed from clinicals at the hospital. I had exercised my duty as a patient advocate by participating in an article for "Self" magazine. The stupid magazine mentioned the hospitals name and called them for a comment (I trusted that the journalist would protect my interests - wrong!) Prior to that, I had worked at this hospital for 12 years and left on good terms. Later, I was hired as an Adjunct Professor at the local City College. I was transitioning from bedside nursing to law. (Had recently gotten my law degree and was studying for the California Bar - if you think the NCLEX is tough!) I was teaching a Maternal Child Health class and loving it. It was really important to me to pass along my experience and knowledge. It felt good! The students liked me and I liked all of them very much. I was just getting my feet wet in a law firm and I was looking forward to maybe teaching some classes on the legal aspects of nursing or health care risk management. (I also have a certificate on Health Care Risk Management) Found out that I was really good at this teaching stuff. Was very excited about doing this on the side.
Then, the Dean asked me if I would help out with a clinical at the hospital. They didn't have many instructors with maternal child health experience. There was basically a shortage of instructors. I was a little reluctant about going back into the hospital, but how could I say no?
When the Dean called me into her office and told me what the hospital had done, I was stunned! Evidently, the hospital just made a large donation to the nursing school to expand their program. I understood the position that the Dean was put in, but I still think that she had no balls!
I did nothing at first, but it really bothered me and I had this law degree now and I was not the same nurse I use to be. My law degree greatly empowered me to stand up for my rights and the rights of others, especially nurses. So, I did one of the guttiest things that I have ever done in my entire nursing career , I went to the local news paper and told them my story. A few days later there I was on the FRONT page of the local paper!
The telephone did not stop ringing for a few days. Nurses calling me non-stop to give me support. I still have nurses come up to me in the grocery store or the bank. The Nursing School has not had me teach a class since then - my greatest loss. It's been over 2 years now and I have no regrets. I am currently in a job that I love.
Barb - I am not saying that you do what I did, but there is something deeply disturbing about all of this. Nursing Instructors have to be given the right to speak freely on the issues that effect nurses and patients. I don't like what is happening in our nursing schools!
P.S. This is only for Barb - My passion and emotions are what make me a successful nurse attorney. Don't ever lose that!