Taking a medical withdrawal from the rest of this fall semester, can my nursing program make me start over? Is it legal?

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Updated:   Published

To sum it up:

Im a 3/4 semester ADN student. I'm withdrawing from the rest of the fall semester to do treatments for 4-5 weeks 4 days a week. I'll be done by mid December then treatments will only be once a week so I can easily juggle that with classes.

I was supposed to graduate in May 2024. 
If I come come back in the Spring, the same courses are offered for the LPN to ADN transition students; the course #s are the same and everything.

My disabilities are covered under the ADA. 

My college's handbook says we must graduate within 6 semesters of the initial admission date. BUT there's no specific policy for medical related withdrawal. The 6th semester for me would be Summer 2024. If I start back in Spring, I can retake the 3rd semester in the Spring and the 4th semester in the Summer.

However, if I come back in the Spring can they force me to restart program or delay me further from graduating? Like sitting a semester out to make me join the ADN cohort instead of the LPN to ADN students?

Even if the courses are full they always override students who need to retake so I'm not worried about that. But I'm worried my program will try and pull some crap like this. 

I don't want to restart or transfer elsewhere and restart.

A nurse I work with told me it would be illegal for them to make me restart or delay me because I was gone for medical reasons. And I won't be out that long. I plan to return in Jan for the Spring semester. 

I just need some general advice please. 

The handbook doesn't even have a medical withdrawal policy so I'm sure I can appeal it anyways. but I already have been having issues with the disability office trying to get my medical withdrawal approved because they don't understand I'm covered under the ADA.  I'm now waiting on my doctor to send a letter and submit my medical documentation for the withdrawal. I'm just worried they'll try and kick me out or something because my program isn't the best and they try to fail so many students out all the time and usually never offer any type of support when it comes to things like this. 

Any advice? 

Nandoh90

2 Posts

Ask the dean/the head of the program to get a clear answer. I originally started in Spring 2020 and graduated in Spring 2023 in an ADN program. I had one medical withdrawal semester and one where I failed the semester. I was at the end of my six semester limit so I had no room for error this past Spring. Summers were not included in the semester count. My program was in Virginia. I wish you well! You will get it done one way or another!

londonflo

2,906 Posts

Specializes in oncology.
Quote

lready have been having issues with the disability office trying to get my medical withdrawal approved because they don't understand I'm covered under the ADA.

Okay, in specific  terms, what is your disability is covered by ADA? We are anonymous here. 

winterkiss

3 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Student.
londonflo said:

Okay, in specific  terms, what is your disability is covered by ADA? We are anonymous here. 

Well the ADA is inclusive not exclusive.
There is no specific list of disabilities the ADA covers because a disability per the ADA is defined as

"An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.”

It really doesn't matter what my disabilities are, they limit one or major life activities (walking being the major one, thinking/learning) for me currently. 

I have a history of it and now it's back. I've had surgery and physical therapy in the past for them. 

 

londonflo

2,906 Posts

Specializes in oncology.

A pregnancy is a "disability" that  will allow the the nursing student who has such to sit out a semester. This is what I thought you were speaking to

But if you have a physical/mental exam that an MD says you are able to complete the physical activities in your course handbook (it is spelled out there) 

 

londonflo

2,906 Posts

Specializes in oncology.
winterkiss said:

but I already have been having issues with the disability office trying to get my medical withdrawal approved because they don't understand

 

This screams For Profit school. 

 

Quote

A nurse I work with told me it would be illegal for them to make me restart or delay me because I was gone for medical reasons. 

I would enroll at her/his school!

 

Specializes in Mental Health.

ADA only requires reasonable accommodations to help you attend classes - extra time to take tests if you have severe test anxiety, an elevator to get to your class if you can't use stairs, etc. It really doesn't cover anything if you physically can't attend class, as that falls outside of reasonable accommodations. It is not like FMLA where you can take a leave of absence from a job for a certain number of days without being let go. 

Is this a condition that is going to go away? Most nursing jobs are going to have physical capability requirements, have you considered that?

winterkiss

3 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Student.

Wrong. Reading is fundamental and it doesn't even look like you read my post right. I didn't say anything about not attending classes at all while classes are in session. A college medical withdrawal is a thing for a disability and that can't be held against a student. It would violate disability laws. A medical withdrawal is reasonable. And there are many nurses that have lifelong disabilities and are GREAT nurses. Your point is? LOL. 

Specializes in Prior military RN/current ICU RN..

No one on here can give you an accurate answer.  You need to talk to your school. Explain the situation and see what they say. 

J Scythe

3 Posts

I'm a PRO at this cause I've already done it. You only get 1 chance to use it in nursing school. The person you speak to is your nursing advisor and then they direct you to someone else. I didn't go through the ADA (just fyi) and I did have ADA in place but it's had more to do with my mental than my physical and had nothing to do with their department and the department in charge of you W due to your temp. medical condition. But then again each school is different so who knows where they go to. BUT yea, all schools should have this in place. You're suppose to get approved as long as you have the reason documented by the doctor etc. 

As to whether or not you'll have to retake the semester/get held back, that's up to your school. And yes, they do have the right to do that. It's under their discretion and if you want to speak to the dean about your situation, please do and do it in email every time cause it's best to have paper trail proof! In my case and everyone else I've known that has done this, they had to sit back and repeat that semester. 

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