Hallmarks of a Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing education include acquisition of skills and knowledge while building character and independence. Essential components of this education are innovation, truthfulness, insight and respect.
The School of Nursing Honor Code is based on the shared core values stated in the School’s Values Statement. Each member of the School of Nursing community, whether student, faculty or staff, holds himself or herself and others to the highest standards based on the values of excellence, respect, diversity, integrity, and accountability.
Students enrolled in the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that upholds the values of this institution of higher education. Each student is obligated to refrain from violating academic ethics and maintaining high standards of conduct. In addition, the School of Nursing upholds the professional code of ethics established in the Code of Ethics for Nurses (ANA, 2015). Each student is held accountable for adhering to the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics.
The School of Nursing Honor Code is grounded in the following principles:
- Act with honesty and integrity in the performance of all academic assignments, examinations and in all interactions with others
- Engage in providing requested input to improve faculty understanding of the learning needs of students
- Respect self, faculty, staff, fellow students and members of the health team
- Respect and protect the confidentiality of information
- Advocate for patients’ best interest
- Respect the diversity of persons encountered in all interactions
- Respect property
- Respect policies, regulations and laws
- Abstain from the use of substances in the academic and clinical setting that impair judgment or performance
The Honor Pledge
The following honor pledge will be included and signed on each examination and assignment:
“On my honor, I pledge that I have neither given nor received any unauthorized assistance on this (exam) (assignment) (care plan) (paper) (project).”
The pledge may be completed in several ways such as:
- Student will write and sign the pledge;
- Faculty will preprint the pledge on tests and student will initial it;
- Faculty will include the pledge on an online quiz/test and ask students to indicate their online verification.
Violations of Academic Ethics include:
This list is not all-inclusive and is included for illustrative purposes.
- Submission of the same or substantially similar work of another person, such as an author or classmate, without proper citation
- Improper documentation of quotations, words, ideas, or paraphrased passages taken from published or unpublished sources
- Use of the results of another student’s work (e.g., exam, papers, lab data, nursing care plan or other patient evaluation documentation) while representing it as one’s own
Cheating on Examinations
- Use of unauthorized materials (e.g., devices, notes, books) during an in-class or take-home examination
- Consultation of unauthorized materials while being excused (e.g., on a bathroom break) from an examination room
- Copying answers from or providing answers to another student
- Unauthorized discussion of an exam’s content during its administration
- Obtaining an examination or answers to an examination prior to its administration
- Acting as a substitute for another or utilizing another as a substitute during an academic evaluation of any type
Improper Use of Internet
- Use of paper writing services or paper databases on the Internet
- Posting of patient/client data or photographs
- Accessing Internet during an examination without prior approval
Improper Use of Electronic Devices
- Transmittal of patient/client data or photographs
- Collaboration on homework assignments, papers, or reports unless explicitly assigned or approved by faculty
Alteration of Graded Assignments
- Submission of an examination or assignment for re-grading after making changes to the original answers
Forgery and Falsification
- Falsification or invention of data in laboratory experiments, data analysis, or patient evaluation
- Citation of nonexistent sources or creation of false information in an assignment
- Forgery of university documents, such as academic transcripts or letters of reference
- Request for special consideration from faculty or university officials based upon false information or deception
- Claiming falsely to have completed and/or turned in an assignment
- Falsely reporting an ethics violation by another student
Facilitating Academic Dishonesty
- Intentionally or knowingly aiding another student to commit a violation of academic conduct
- Allowing another student to copy from one’s examination during administration of the exam
- Providing copies of course material whose circulation was prohibited (e.g., exams or assignments) to students enrolled in or planning to take that course
- Providing specific information about an exam to a student who has not yet taken the exam
- Willfully damaging the academic efforts of other students
- Stealing another student’s academic materials (e.g. book, notes, assignment, flash drives, etc.)
- Denying another student needed resources in a deliberate manner, such as hiding library materials or stealing lab equipment
- Submitting substantially similar work in more than one class without the approval of the instructors
Allegations of Research Misconduct are covered by the School of Nursing Policy on Research Misconduct.
Professional Code of Ethics
In addition to the Academic Ethics outlined in in this document, each student enrolled in the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing is expected to uphold the professional code of ethics established for and by the nursing profession and as defined by the School. Ethics are foundational to the nursing profession. The nursing profession expresses its moral obligations and professional values through the Code of Ethics for Nurses (ANA, 2015). Each student should read the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics and be accountable for its contents.
In its Code of Ethics for Nurses, the American Nurses Association states that: “ethics is an essential part of the foundation of nursing. Nursing has a distinguished history of concern for the welfare of the sick, injured, vulnerable and for social justice. This concern is embodied in the provision of care to individuals and the community. Nursing encompasses the prevention of illness, the alleviation of suffering, and the protection, promotion, and restoration of health in the care of individuals, families, groups, and communities.”
–American Nurses Association Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements
Nursing students are expected not only to adhere to the morals and norms of the profession, but also to embrace them as part of what it means to be a nurse. The nurse recognizes that his/her first obligation is to the patient’s welfare and that all other needs and duties are secondary; the nursing student adheres to this same value. A code of ethics makes the professional goals, values, and obligations of a nursing student more explicit, assisting the student in the development of his/her professional ethics.
A nursing student at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing will strive to act in a professional, ethical manner in accordance with the Code of Ethics for nurses, the JHUSON values, and Honor Code. Each student will:
- Read this School of Nursing Professional Code of Ethics Document and be accountable for its contents.
- Be responsible for his/her own learning and clinical practice and honor other students’ right to learn and be successful in academic and clinical environments (i.e., develop own knowledge base through study and inquiry; recognize others’ right to do well on their written work; have access to reserved material; and have access to their own preparation materials and supplies used in clinical areas).
- Demonstrate respect in verbal and non-verbal behaviors to all others in all clinical and academic settings (e.g., interact with others without using threats of, or commission of, physical harm, verbal abuse, unwanted sexual advances or contact, or other unwarranted physical contact. Arrive to class and clinicals on time; silence beepers and cell phones in class, etc.).
- Assess patient status carefully upon assuming responsibility for his/her care
- Provide safe, competent care, seeking assistance when personal knowledge and/or skill are not adequate. Avoid use of any substances that would impair clinical ability or judgment (e.g., prepare for clinical assignment to develop required knowledge and skill; review patient’s medical record; seek assistance according to course and curricular objectives).
- Provide the same standard of care to all patients and families regardless of race, ethnicity, age, sexual preference, disability, religion, economic status, employment status, or the nature of their health problem(s). Accept that others have the right to their own cultural beliefs and values and respect their choices (e.g., demonstrate compassion and respect for every individual; provide the best quality of care possible to all patients; be non-judgmental of cultural differences).
- Provide patient care without expectation of, or acceptance of, any remuneration over and above salary (if applicable) (e.g., do not accept gratuities or personal gifts of monetary value).
- Document in a thorough, accurate, truthful, and timely manner data that reflects findings from one’s own personal assessment, care, interventions, teaching, or the patient’s and/or family’s response to those activities (e.g., documentation errors are corrected in an acceptable manner, documentation is unaltered, vital signs are recorded at the time they are measured, and late entries are duly noted).
- Act in a manner that contributes to the development and maintenance of an ethical educational and practice environment. Recognize that the primary commitment in clinical practice is to the patient and that respectful interactions are expected (e.g., act as a role model for other students and colleagues; speak up if another student is speaking disrespectfully to classmates or faculty; work through appropriate organizational channels to share concerns about situations that jeopardize patient care or affect the educational environment; advocate patient safety).
- Complete legally required HIPAA training and University or clinical site requirements regarding confidentiality. Use patient data in all school work, papers, presentations, research findings and in the clinical setting in a manner that is accurate, truthful, and confidential. Patient data must have a justifiable reason for its presence. Acknowledge real data gaps that may exist in written work. Identify patient in paper by initials, not full name.
- Refrain from unauthorized use or possession of school or clinical setting’s equipment, patient’s belongings, or items dispersed or intended for patient use (e.g., do not download University software onto a personal PC or mobile device; do not use a hospital computer terminal for personal use; do not take a patient’s prescribed medication for personal use).
Honor Code Policies and Procedures
Student discipline is the responsibility of the faculty of the School of Nursing. The School of Nursing Ethics Board has been created to administer this responsibility. Nothing herein prescribed, however, shall prevent the Dean of the School, or in the absence of the Dean, the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, or their designees, from summarily suspending a student for reasons relating to his or her physical or emotional safety and well-being, the safety and well-being of students, faculty, staff, or University property, the maintenance of public order, or the effective continuation of the education process. The student has the right to a fair and timely hearing in accordance with these rules.
The School of Nursing Ethics Board has jurisdiction over disciplinary matters involving matriculated and continuing School of Nursing students in the full-time, part-time, and professional programs at the School of Nursing. This jurisdiction may include, but is not limited to the following:
- Violations of School of Nursing Academic Ethics or Professional Ethics
- Violations of University Policies and Procedures
- Violations of federal, state or local laws
Reporting Academic or Professional Ethics Violations
Any member of the faculty, administration, staff or any student who has reason to believe a violation has occurred is expected to notify the Ethics Board Chair or Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. Faculty members generally initiate academic or professional investigations, either by detecting violations themselves or by receiving reports from teaching assistants, clinical site staff, students, alerts by exam monitoring services, and/or university staff members.
Students or staff who witness violations should report these to the appropriate course faculty or Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. Students may consult beforehand with the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, or designee, or the chair of the Ethics Board.
Both students and faculty should follow these procedures:
- Violations of the Honor Code that are well substantiated should be referred directly to the Ethics Board after consultation with the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.
- In the case of a suspected academic ethics violation, the faculty member should meet with the student or students involved in the incident to discuss the accusation. If the faculty member believes the accusation has no merit, the issue can be dismissed, but documentation of the conversation should be forwarded to the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.
- If, after meeting with the student(s) involved, the faculty member believes the situation has merit, he/she should contact the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs (410-955-7545) to determine if this is the first offense. This action must occur before a penalty for the violation is assigned.
The Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs will report if this is the student’s first offense, a fact that will affect the resolution of the case.
- If a student has a prior offense, the Ethics Board must resolve the case in a hearing (see next section).
- If the student has no prior offense, a discussion occurs with the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs to determine whether there are grounds for calling an Ethics Board hearing or whether a settlement can be reached between faculty and student.
- For a first offense after faculty consultation with the Chair of the SON Ethics Board, the faculty and student may agree upon a settlement without any Ethics Board hearing, the resolution must be recorded in writing and signed by both the faculty member and the student. A copy of this document must be sent to the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.
- The Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs is available throughout this process for consultation.
- Faculty members must notify the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs when a hearing is required.
- The Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs will convene a meeting of the Ethics Board in consultation with the chair of the Ethics Board.
- In advance of the Ethics Board hearing, a student receives written notification of the hearing date, time, and location. Students are required to attend the hearing as scheduled.
Ethics Board Selection and Ethics Panel Hearings
An Ethics Board will be constituted each year. A faculty chair will be selected from among the full-time faculty by the Dean or her designee. Four full-time faculty who teach primarily in one of the following programs—MSN Entry into Nursing Practice, MSN Advanced Specialty, and doctoral (either PhD or DNP) will be elected for two-year terms by the Faculty Assembly.
The Ethics Board meets annually in the fall semester and as needed thereafter.
After receiving a report of a violation that merits a hearing, the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs or designee will initiate an Ethics Board hearing with the chair. For each request, a hearing panel will be formed.
The Ethics Board consists of the faculty chairperson, the program directors from all academic programs and the faculty members mentioned above. The Ethics Hearing Panel consists of the faculty chairperson, the faculty members, the program director and two student members. The Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs or designee attends all hearings but is a non-voting member.
Student members of the Ethics Board are elected by their peers for a term of one year, beginning no later than September 30.
The Ethics Board appoints a student hearing assistant for the alleged honor code violator and for the person initiating the complaint. The hearing assistant for students will be his/her academic adviser or other faculty member chosen by the student. The hearing assistant for the faculty may be his/her faculty mentor or other faculty member of choice. The assistant will meet with the respective parties to prepare evidence, testimony, and questions for the hearing. Assistants may attend and provide consultation in the hearing.
All evidence for the hearing must be placed on file in the Office of the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. Students and faculty can submit evidence directly to the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs or indirectly through the assistant or the chairperson.
The Ethics Board will convene within 10 working days of receiving the request for a hearing.
The Ethics Board hearing is an orderly discussion, not a legal proceeding. Legal representation is not permitted. The hearing proceeds in this manner:
- The purpose of the meeting and process will be reviewed and roles of each participant clarified.
- The party initiating the complaint will present an account of the events leading to the charge of academic or professional ethics violation.
- Witnesses will give their accounts. Ethics hearing panel members, initiating parties, the alleged honor code violator, and the hearing assistant may ask questions. Relevant facts and if necessary, other data regarding the allegation will be provided.
- The alleged honor code violator may refute the charges and invite witnesses and/or provide additional facts or data relevant to the allegation.
- The initiating party and the alleged honor code violator will be allowed to make a closing statement.
- At the conclusion of the hearing, all parties will withdraw, and the deliberations of the hearing board will be held in private.
- The Accused is presumed innocent until proven in violation by a preponderance of the evidence.
- The Chair shall, as soon after the hearing as possible, prepare minutes of the hearing including:
i. Date, place and time of the hearing,
ii. The names of all persons present at the hearing,
iii. A short statement of the charge against the Student,
iv. A summary of the findings of fact and conclusions made by the Ethics Board,
v. A statement of the decision of the Ethics Board,
vii. The sanction recommended by the Ethics Board, if applicable
- The alleged honor code violator and the initiating party will be informed in writing by the Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Office the Ethics Board’s decision within five working days of the Board’s decision.
- Depending on the severity and type of infraction, the student may be removed from the clinical or laboratory setting immediately after a decision has been reached; such decisions will be communicated verbally to the student by the Chair. Written confirmation will follow.
Any student found not in violation is exonerated of all charges and allowed to make-up any missed assignments or clinical time.
Students found in violation face the following potential sanctions, based on the Board’s determination of the severity of the infraction:
i. Warning - Notice to the student, orally or in writing, that continuation or repetition of the conduct found wrongful, or participation in similar conduct, within a period of time stated in the warning, shall be a cause for disciplinary action.
ii. Censure - Written reprimand for violation of a specified regulation, including the possibility of a more severe disciplinary sanction in the event of another violation within a period of time stated in the reprimand.
iii. Academic - Grade adjustment, including failure, on any work or course. This may include or may not include permanent student record notation. If notation, “Grade due to Academic Misconduct” will be noted on the official School of Nursing transcript.
iv. Disciplinary Probation - Exclusion from participation in privileges or school activities as set forth in the notice of disciplinary probation for a specified period of time. Notification that a more severe disciplinary sanction may be imposed if the student commits a second disciplinary offense while on disciplinary probation.
v. Monetary Fines - For any offenses as determined by the Ethics Board.vi. Suspension - Exclusion from classes and other privileges or extracurricular activities as set forth in the notice of suspension for a definite period of time. For academic violations resulting in suspension “Suspension for Academic Misconduct” will be noted on the official School of Nursing transcript.
vii. Dismissal - Permanent termination of a student's status. For academic violations resulting in dismissal “Dismissal for Academic Misconduct” will be noted on the official School of Nursing transcript.
For students found in violation of a second offense, sanction options i, ii, or iii are not available.
After the hearing, the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs assists the chair in implementing the Ethics Board’s decision. This will include notifying the student and appropriate faculty or School personnel (e.g., Registrar, faculty adviser, course faculty, Executive Vice Dean, appropriate program director).
The Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs or designee maintains all hearing documents in a confidential file.
The Ethics Board faculty chair will submit a yearly report to the Faculty Assembly outlining types of hearings held and decisions made during the year. Students will not be identified by name in this report.
Students may appeal decisions of the Ethics Board in writing to the Dean of the School of Nursing within 10 business days of the Ethics Board’s written decision. The student’s statement will set forth the grounds for the appeal. The Dean will have access to documents reviewed during the Ethics Board hearing. The Dean may meet with the accused and with the accuser before reaching a final decision.
The Dean will present a written response to the student. The final written decision will be sent to the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs to file. Panel members involved in the hearing will be notified of the Dean’s response by the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.
The confidential records of the Ethics Board will be held in the Office of the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.
Being accused of an ethics violation is a stressful process for students. Students are encouraged to be completely honest in all discussions associated with this process and to take advantage of University resources:
The Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs will provide an overview of the process and procedures of the Ethics Board and advice about preparing for the Academic Ethics Board hearing.
The Johns Hopkins Student Assistance Program can help with any personal difficulties that arise during this process.
a. The Accused is presumed innocent until proven in violation by a preponderance of the evidence.
b. The Accused has the right to be informed in writing of the charges against him or her and the identity of the Complainant.
c. The Accused has the right to have a reasonable number of witnesses on his or her behalf. A witness’ failure to comply with the Hearing Panel’s request for attendance to provide testimony during the hearing may constitute a violation of the School of Nursing Honor Code.
d. All witnesses must be available for testimony throughout the course of the hearing.
Faculty members should enforce academic ethics equally and consistently. All suspicions of academic misconduct, no matter how minor, must be investigated.
Faculty members must contact the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs to discuss any accusations of academic misconduct in order to determine if an accused student has previous violations. In addition, faculty members must submit documentation of all direct settlements and hearing requests to the Associate Dean of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.
If an Ethics Board hearing is necessary, it will be scheduled to fit the faculty member’s schedule.
Faculty members are expected to compile evidence and to present their account of the violation during an Ethics Board hearing. The hearing assistant chosen by the board will assist the faculty member with this process.
Faculty members are encouraged to contact the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs or the chair of the Ethics board to discuss concerns and questions about the meeting.
University’s Student Conduct Code
Student Conduct is handled through a university-wide process. Please see the Johns Hopkins University non-academic Student Conduct Code for policy and procedures.