Intimidation and Threats in Nursing School

  1. Several weeks ago, I posted a new thread regarding diversity and cultural awareness (please see below). Well, I was threatened, again, by the same classmate. He reminded me, in front of approximately 20 of my classmates, that he threatened me before and that he, presumably, could fulfill those threats. Although I had reached my boiling point, I refrained from saying very much. Instead, I went to one of the initial instructors I approached the first time and she escorted me to the director's office. I met with the director, one of the school's security guards, and the director of the hospital's security department. According to the student handbook, intimidation and threats can be grounds for dismissal from the program. I don't want my classmate to be dismissed, but only because I would fear for my safety. The director met with my classmate the following day and she requested a follow-up meeting with me for Monday.

    I would like to think it is highly unlikely that this student will intimidate or threaten me for the remainder of the program (end of June). However, I don't know what will happen when the program ends. What bothers me most is knowing (which I heard months before I was threatened) that the classmate carries a gun in his car.

    I consulted a lawyer who specializes in gay and lesbian issues. She was very supportive and recommended several additional measures to ensure adequate documentation. I owe the healthcare system two years (in exchange for my education). Would it be unreasonable to ask them to cancel this committment so that I can pursue employment in another city?

    Thank you for reading this message and I look forward to everyone's advice.
    First off, I passed peds/OB. I LOVED peds! I'm headed to my last clinical rotation, psychiatric nursing, on Monday. YEAH!

    So, can anyone recommend hospital systems that are recognized for their diverse workforce and cultural awareness? I attend a diploma program in Pittsburgh and my classmates, GENERALLY SPEAKING, are incredibly narrow-minded. One of my classmates, widely known as a homophobe, racist, and sexist, recently threatened me because I am gay and, as a result, I had to have a meeting with him and the course coordinator. What bothers me more is that none of my classmates who heard our exchange came to my defense. The hospital where I completed my pediatrics rotation has a lot of Amish patients and we were advised to think twice before entering an elevator with several of them because we may be overwhelmed by their collective body odor. The same thing was said about Muslim patients. Did I mention that these sentiments were expressed by my instructor?!?!?! And she has a master's degree!

    This, of course, is a perfect segue to my next thought: why do so many nurses with master's degrees know nothing about anything outside of nursing? Where are the nurses, advanced degree or not, who have more altruistic aspirations? Johns Hopkins? WHERE?

    Well, thank you for listening to my rant! These experiences make me feel like a complete outsider in my nursing program and, as a result, I want nothing to do with the majority of my classmates.
  2. Visit BPPITT profile page

    About BPPITT

    Joined: May '05; Posts: 47; Likes: 2


  3. by   athena55
    Hello BPPITT:
    Sorry I am now only responding to your post. Have been away from a computer.
    I think the first thing you should do is.....Document everything. I am glad you approached your Director of Nursing at your school/program/university. Now my fingers are crossed that some action will be taken and this person who is threatening you is asked to leave the program!
    Next I would recommend that you go to Legal Aid in your state/county. See what they have to say, what advise they have to offer you.
    Have you been to the local GLBT Center in your city? Here are two websites; the first is located in Pittsburg, the second is located in Philadelphia:
    I hope that this helps you. Nothing will take away the fact that you feel threatened while at school. Keep us/me updated, okay?
    Stay Safe,

  4. by   MedSurgeNewbie
    I am so sorry you have to deal with that kinda thing, nursing school is hard enough. Make sure that you stand up for your rights if you can - I know its easy to say but you might just do theese folks good. I'll keep thinking good thoughts for ya!
  5. by   jill48
    I just don't understand how these kind of people can sleep at night:angryfire . Stay strong and continue to defend yourself. Good luck.
  6. by   wincha
    I think the person who threatened you(more than once) should be kicked out of the program. If he is not he will go on acting as he has been at school, work ect... Now about not having to work at that facility. Does it have to do with being threatened or is it more than that? You should have spoke up the first time. Actually as a RN you will need to learn to speak up to alot of people including doctors. I am unsure what to say about Master level RN's. I have my BA, then went to nursing school. There is nothing to persuade me to get my BSN or MSN. However, I am seriously considering getting my MBA. I have heard there are many opportunities for RNs with their MBA. I also have sales experience and my paralegal certificate.
  7. by   justme1972
    You need to go to your local magistrate's office and see about getting a restraining order against this individual. Let you neighbors know what is going on so they can keep a lookout...and make sure they know what kind of car he drives.

    You don't need an attorney to get a restraining order.
  8. by   Josh L.Ac.
    Actually the fact that the student has not already been kicked out for making two threats reports poorly on the school. It also reflects poorly on your classmates that they sat on their hands and did nothing.

    If he illegally carries a gun in his car, I wonder how much trouble he would get it for parking it on hospital property?

    I would have a hard time ignoring my strong desire to have a chat with a person that threatened one of my friends or classmates...
  9. by   I_am_Julia
    the man deserves to be kicked out of school. he doesn't deserve to be a nurse or any professional. what he deserves is some time behind bars. be as cautious as you can. i would pursue these things further. he has no right to work with patients.
  10. by   GingerSue
    someone who is threatening you seems inappropriate for the nursing profession (in my opinion - there is something kind of unbalanced about a person who threatens)

    I agree - let people know what is going on
    and then - you don't want retaliation

    but you want to be safe
  11. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from GingerSue
    someone who is threatening you seems inappropriate for the nursing profession (in my opinion - there is something kind of unbalanced about a person who threatens)

    I agree - let people know what is going on
    and then - you don't want retaliation

    but you want to be safe
    Exactly my thoughts. I have to wonder what he'll do when he gets a gay patient, or a patient whose politics he doesn't agree with, or a patient whose lifestyle he doesn't agree with.

    Do whatever you have to do to be safe, BP. Take care of yourself.
  12. by   Thedreamer
    Wow that sounds scary. I wouldnt want someone with a rumored weapon in thier car to be threatening me. Id have gone to the police. You have witnesses. Yes that person should be expelled, no questions asked.
  13. by   GingerSue
    let the police know about the gun
  14. by   TennNurse
    You've gotten some good advice here.

    From scary experience I know that it is important to leave a paper trail. Get a restraining order!!! Make sure the details of previous threats and carrying of concealed weapons is included in that paperwork. Make sure that someone ALWAYS knows where you are, even if you duck out of your house in your pajama pants for five minutes to run to the corner store for milk. When this cretin is served with the restraining order, the message will be clear that you have taken legal steps to protect yourself, and that further threats will not go unnoticed.

    At the very least, if this dung pile actually graduates, anyone doing a halfa$$ background check will see the restraining order, and this is not exactly a ringing endorsement of one's character. Ideally, it will jolt this dolt into realizing that you are serious about not taking his crap and you will remain safe.

    Take care of you, OK? You can never tell with these idiots how far they'll go.