Undergraduate Student Leave of Absence Policy

Policy Statement

This policy for all undergraduate nursing students provides guidelines for absences taken while enrolled in the nursing program. Please refer to the Policy Regarding Length of Completion of 2nd Entry and Post RN Internationally Educated Nurses BScN Programs for other related information.

GUIDELINES:

1. Short Term Absences from On-Campus and Off-Campus Clinical Activities

1.1. Short term absences are defined as those that range from one day or less, to 2 weeks. All absences from educational activities deemed mandatory (i.e. on-campus clinical activities, off-campus clinical placements) must be approved by the Course Director (CD) and Clinical Course Director (CCD). An unexcused absence will be considered to be a breach of professional conduct, and will documented and brought to the attention of the Course Director (CD) and Undergraduate Program Director/Coordinator (UPD). Possible consequences may involve withdrawal from the clinical activity, or course failure.

1.2. Students will be responsible for making up the missed clinical hours as arranged by the CCD, in collaboration with the CD, the Nursing Placement Coordination Office and/or Nursing Resource Centre, as applies. This will be scheduled at the discretion of the CCD and/or preceptor. Consequences of not making up missed clinical hours may result in course failure. Completion of course requirements ensures achievement of course goals and patient safety as the student progresses in the program.

1.3. An absence of 2 weeks due to an incomplete Clinical Preparedness Permit will result in course withdrawal.

1.4. For absences that occur due to illness, a Student Medical Certificate is required to support the medical reason. For absences that occur due to other circumstances (i.e. personal loss), relevant and acceptable documentation of the circumstance may be required. Documentation will be forwarded by the CD/CCD to the UPD for filing.

1.5. Emergency and extraordinary circumstances will be addressed on an individual basis. In all other foreseen or planned absences from clinical activities (i.e. religious holidays), students must initiate a request within the first two weeks of the term in writing for an advanced approved absence from their CD.

1.6. Students who are absent from on-campus or off-campus clinical activities for a period ranging from greater than 2 weeks to less than one term should consult immediately with the UPD to discuss progression in the course and program.

2. Absences from Non-Clinical Nursing Courses

For any absences from non-clinical nursing courses, please refer to Faculty of Health and University procedures and Deferred Standing Agreements.

3. Long Term Absences from the Program

3.1. Leave for Serious Illness or Exceptional Circumstance

3.1.1. Long term absences are defined as those that are at least one term[1] long. Students are required to apply in writing to the UPD for absences up to three (3) terms (one calendar year), on the grounds of serious health or personal circumstances which temporarily make it impossible for a student to continue in the program. The student must complete the Leave of Absence Request Form no later than 15 calendar days after start of the current term for a planned leave of absence and submit it to the UPD for approval; other timelines will be considered in extenuating circumstances. This approval will be made in consultation with the School’s Undergraduate Program Committee or designated sub-committee. Should a student’s request be denied, the student has the right to submit a petition to the Faculty of Health.

[1] Undergraduate students may only register within a “session” (i.e., Fall/Winter and Summer) as opposed to a “term”, and exit decisions from a program can only be determined at the end of a session. All exit decisions must be made coincident with the completion of course work in any given session. Since Nursing students may be concurrently enrolled in courses that span a full session (6 credits) and that are completed in one term (3 credits), discretion regarding the timing of a final decision on student progress , exit from the program or leave of absence may be necessary. The School of Nursing will ensure registration and exit decisions are communicated to the Registrar's office for application to a student's record at the end of the relevant academic session.

3.1.2. Leaves of absence granted on the basis of a serious health problem required submission of a completed Student Medical Certificate. A certificate may also be required to indicate that the student is able to resume studies.

3.1.3. All students who have been absent from the program must meet with the UPD before re-entering into the program. It is the student’s responsibility to demonstrate eligibility to return to clinical course activity, in consultation with the UPD. This may involve some clinical remediation as per the individual student’s academic needs. The completion date of the student’s degree program will be extended by the duration of the leave taken, up to the maximum time allowed for completion of their program. Please refer to the Policy Regarding Length of Completion of 2nd Entry and Post RN Internationally Educated Nurses BScN Programs for additional information. Students returning to clinical courses after a long term absence may be placed on a waiting list for placement. All efforts will be made to place these students.

3.1.4. Once on leave of absence, a student is not registered in the Undergraduate Nursing Program and is not required to pay fees. The coding of the registration status for students who are approved for a Leave of Absence by the School of Nursing in the Faculty of Health will be “Registered as Inactive”. While on a leave, students will not attend courses or engage in any coursework. Depending on when the leave begins, a student may retain access to resources of the University, such as using library facilities or computing resources for the remainder of the Session only.

3.2. Parental Leave

3.2.1. The School of Nursing acknowledges the need for individuals to have special arrangements made during their educational program for the purpose of pregnancy/parental leave. The School of Nursing supports a student’s decision to take up to a full year for their pregnancy/parental leave(s).

3.2.2. A student may request from one to three terms of leave (i.e., up to one calendar year), which must be completed within one year of the date of birth or custody, or the start of the leave. While on parental leave, a student does not register or pay fees to the University, hence will not have access to resources during that time.

3.2.3. A student must apply for parental leave by completing the Leave of Absence Request Form. The completion date of the degree program will be extended by the duration of the leave taken, up to the maximum time allowed for completion of their program. Please refer to the Policy Regarding Length of Completion of 2nd Entry and Post RN Internationally Educated Nurses BScN Programs for additional information. Normally, the start and finish of the leave would coincide with the beginning and end of term.

3.2.4. Before re-entering, students must meet with the UPD to plan their re-entry into the program. It is the student’s responsibility to demonstrate eligibility to return to clinical courses, in consultation with the UPD. This may involve some clinical remediation as per the individual student’s academic needs. Students returning to clinical courses after a long term absence may be placed on a waiting list for placement. All efforts will be made to place these students.

 

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