Nursing Student Expelled After 'Insensitive' Assignment About Shooting

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Specializes in trauma/surgical & neuro critical care. Has 6 years experience.

Medscape article Nursing Student Expelled After 'Insensitive' Assignment About Shooting

Summary: 39 y/o nursing student attending Umpqua Community College in Oregon was expelled for her response to the prompt "Whomever you identified as your primary support person last week is no longer available to you because of death, divorce or deployment/relocation.... provide information on who is gone, why, and how you are feeling and what you are going to do now." She wrote a fictional story that described how she would feel if she shot and killed her husband. Not directly related but applicable, UCC had been a site of a mass shooting several years prior.

The college states the decision to expel was based on "the cumulative effect of Ms. Willis's behavior over the course of several months."

Of note, she had been fired from a prior job at a nearby hospital for filming a video there that was considered "racially insensitive" and had been making a plea for the hospital to allow her to perform clinicals there.

My school was cut-throat and I walked on on eggshells. I would have been out without question for trying to show off my Stephen King murder writing skills on such a softball assignment. IMO she demonstrates a record of terrible judgment, a lack of professionalism, and a lack of awareness. Curious to see what fellow nurses think of this situation.

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 28 years experience.

It sounds like she is reckless, you really have to be more careful than that, especially in the University setting. If you are a nurse you have to keep those types of things to a very small circle of people who might appreciate a more macabre story. 

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

Oh, Umpqua. I lived in that area for 2 years. Words kind of fail to describe the weirdness that is rural Oregon.

Based only on what was written here, I would say that her judgment is very very poor, and it's probably best that she not become a nurse.

I did some digging and found some more details to this, including the story she wrote.  It was a discussion board post, which wasn’t really that horrible and I personally feel it was a stretch to say that it reminded anyone of a shooting there from 7 years prior.  

The bigger issue is that she was already firmly on their radar from prior incidents including missed assignments and for being fired from her job at a hospital where she was also doing her nursing clinical at.  She was fired for inappropriate social media posts, which were also not particularly offensive, but it still happened.

Ultimately, the little things added up.

CommunityRNBSN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community health. Has 3 years experience.

Good judgement is a vastly underappreciated trait.  She was already on thin ice with her program, and instead of just doing the assignments in a normal way, she decided to be edgy.  She edged herself out of a spot at the school.