By Carole C. Schriefer, R.N., J.D.
On November 29, 2019, a former University of North Carolina nursing student sued the school’s Greensboro campus, saying it improperly dismissed from her a program a month before graduation. She filed two separate suits. She claims she was forced to endure sexual harassment as a student for years. Then, when she accused a supervisor of misconduct, she was gradually pushed out of the nursing program, according to the lawsuit.
She is suing the University of North Carolina’s Greensboro nursing department in state court and UNC’s Board of Directors along with the Raleigh School of Nurse Anesthesia in federal court.
Lawsuit Describes Alleged Sexual Harassment, Retaliation.
According to the suit, the harassment began less than a year after she enrolled in the Doctor of Nursing Program at UNCG in August 2015, with hopes of becoming a nurse anesthesiologist. She was put under the supervision of a male certified registered nurse anesthetist, or CRNA. In her suit, she alleges that her supervisor began acting inappropriately almost immediately.
When she reported the harassment in July 2016, that’s when the retaliation started, claims the lawsuit. “They started trying to find things,” she reportedly said. She claims that one supervisor told her “If I can’t get you for this, I can get you for something else.” A few months later, on October 31, 2016, she states she was given additional clinical work and reassigned to work with the same CRNA she had previously reported for harassment, according to court documents.
In June 2018, a month before she was to graduate, she was dismissed from the program for what the school said were unsafe nursing practices. She appealed and UNCG allowed her to re-enroll in January 2019 for a tuition of $10,000. However, a month later, she was dismissed again for unsafe nursing practices. UNCG then refused any further appeals and upheld her dismissal in May 2019.
The nursing student is seeking unspecified damages, including loss of income and repayment of tuition, according to the lawsuit.
To read one of my prior blogs on a similar case dealing with a harassment lawsuit at Rutgers University, click here.
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“Lawsuit describes harassment, retaliation at UNCG nursing school.” Greensboro News & Record. (December 3, 2019). Web.
Waggoner, Martha. “Lawsuit describes harassment, retaliation at Nursing School.” The Washington Post. (December 3, 2019). Web.
About the Author: Carole C. Schriefer is an attorney and registered nurse. She practices with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its regional office is in the Northern Colorado, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 155 East Boardwalk Drive, Fort Collins, Colorado 80525. Phone: (970) 416-7456. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida area.
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