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Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities

The NSNA Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities was initially adopted in 1975. The document was updated by the NSNA House of Delegates (1991); and item #4 was revised by the NSNA House of Delegates (2006).  The Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities shall be recognized by administration, faculty and students, and any violations may be reported according to the Grievance or Complaint Policy.

  1. Students should be encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and engage in a sustained and independent search for truth.
  2. The freedom to teach and the freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom: students should exercise their freedom in a responsible manner.
  3. Each institution has a duty to develop policies and procedures which provide and safeguard the students’ freedom to learn.
  4. Under no circumstances should a student be barred from admission to a particular institution on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, ethnicity, age, gender, marital status, life style, disability, or economic status.
  5. Students should be free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, but they are responsible for learning the content of any course of study for which they are enrolled.
  6. Students should have protection through orderly procedures against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation, but they are responsible for maintaining standards of academic performance established for each course in which they are enrolled.
  7. Information about student views, beliefs, political ideation, or sexual orientation which instructors acquire in the course of their work or otherwise, should be considered confidential and not released without the knowledge or consent of the student, and should not be used as a basis of evaluation.
  8. The student should have the right to have a responsible voice in the determination of his/her curriculum.
  9. Institutions should have a carefully considered policy as to the information which should be a part of a student's permanent educational record and as to the conditions of this disclosure.
  10. Students and student organizations should be free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them, and to express opinions publicly and privately.
  11. Students should be allowed to invite and to hear any person of their own choosing within the institution's acceptable realm, thereby taking the responsibility of furthering their education.
  12. The student body should have clearly defined means to participate in the formulation and application of institutional policy affecting academic and student affairs, e.g., through a faculty-student council, student membership or representation on faculty committees.
  13. The institution has an obligation to clarify those standards of behavior which it considers essential to its educational mission, its community life, or its objectives and philosophy.
  14. Disciplinary proceedings should be instituted only for violations of standards of conduct formulated with significant student participation and published in advance through such means as a student handbook or a generally available set of institutional regulations. It is the responsibility of the student to know these regulations. Grievance procedures should be available for every student.
  15. As citizens and members of an academic community, students are subject to the obligations which accrue to them by virtue of this membership and should enjoy the same freedoms of citizenship.
  16. Students have the right to belong or refuse to belong to any organization of their choice.
  17. Students have the right to personal privacy in their living space to the extent that the welfare and property of others are respected.
  18. Adequate safety precautions should be provided by nursing programs, for example, adequate street lighting, locks, and other safety measures deemed necessary by the environment.
  19. Dress code, if present in school, should be established with student input in conjunction with the school director and faculty, so the highest professional standards are maintained, but also taking into consideration points of comfort and practicality for the student.
  20. Grading systems should be carefully reviewed periodically with students and faculty for clarification and better student-faculty understanding.
  21. Students should have a clear mechanism for input into the evaluation of nursing faculty.