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Pima Medical Institute

Phone: (520) 326-1600

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Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (1)
02/13/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
My name is ****** ****** and I am currently in the fourth semester of the Nursing
program along With my husband ******* ****** at Pima Medical Institute. My husband and I
had a formal discussion with Dr. ***** (Nursing Director) regarding questions and concerns
pertaining to inadequate classroom and clinical training at the PMI ADN Nursing program. For
example, PMI incorporates Kaplan testing every other week into the core curriculum. Those
scores are averaged into our grade and we can fail if they are not passed. Other programs reserve
the NCLEX testing until all the core classes are completed. The school provides no preparatory
curriculum to pass this test. This discussion occurred a few times during the final week of
September. To date, Dr. ***** has not responded regarding our questions and concerns.
However, Dr. Hyduk did place me and my husband on Academic Probation for unexcused
absences starting 10/4/2013 while we were attending the funeral of an immediate family
member. Per PMI'S own student handbook, the death of an immediate family member is an
excused absence. I believe the action to place us on academic probation stems from concerns the
school has regarding the issues we have raised regarding inadequate clinical preparation of their
RN students at the Tucson Campus. Of course, being Black, we have to consider that Racism
could also be a factor.

Prior to attending PMI, I was a Dental Assistant for the military. My husband *******
****** is a Veteran and former firefighter with the United States Air force. We are funding our
education using my husband's GI bill and borrowing funds under the federally funded loan
program. I have requested from the school as to how many Black students have attended this
Institution and how many (if any) have graduated.

My husband and I are two semesters from graduating this program. We moved to Tucson
from Japan to attend this school because we were told it was an accredited program. However,
We are two semesters from graduating, yet unlike other nursing programs We are not actually
taking one or more patients as students in during our hospital Clinical rotations. We are told to
shadow the unit nurses and help out when and where We can. We pick a patient to discuss and
complete clinical paperwork, but students in other Nursing programs, at the same level we are,
are given direct patient care of two to three patients at this time. Our discussion with Dr. *****
focused on PMI'S dependence on virtual learning as opposed to hands on clinical training. I
believe the reliance on the virtual program is a direct result from PMI not obtaining Regional
Accreditation. This critical accreditation was not disclosed to us when enrolling to PMI. The
local community college has Regional Accreditation with a curriculum that supports Nursing
students to successfully pass the NCLEX and enter the work force with superior clinical training
to ensure Success as a graduate nurse. I'm sure you are aware of the high failure rate history that
PMI graduates have experienced With the NCLEX exam.

Dr. ***** appears to have violated their own policy regarding placing students on
Academic Probation. According to the policy, if my husband and I were having issues with the
program, a formal meeting should have occurred to address those issues. Prior to attending the
funeral, we reviewed the policy regarding absences for a death of immediate family and were
assured by our instructor that per policy we were allowed to take this leaves. Not only did Dr.
***** never address our concerns with the educational components we have paid for, she placed
my husband and I on academic probation when we returned to class on 10/7/2013. According to
the Student Handbook We are very close to being terminated from this program. Not only would
this result in a huge Economic loss as we have currently paid, but because PMI does not have
Regional Accreditation, our credits will not transfer to most Accredited Nursing Programs.

I do not believe my husband nor I have received the clinical education and training to
pass *** NCLEX and move forward into the job market as graduate nurses. We are especially
concerned with the lack of guided study material for the Kaplan exams we must take. There
should be no reason that my husband and I be placed at the same Clinical Hospital Unit with no
option to gain experience elsewhere. (see hard copy online) IG

Desired Settlement
Our options are to complete this semester so that We may obtain our LPN license. We
then will have to wait in line another year or two starting as second semester nursing students at Pima College. My husband and l would like to tile a formal complaint to have the clinical components of the ADN program at PMI investigated. Secondly, we believe the school has discriminated against my husband and I due to our race. Lastly, we are asking for a refund. We are available at your earliest convenience to discuss this matter in detail. (see hard copy online) IG

Business Response
Response to Complaint

On November 15, 2013, the Nursing Program Director (Dr. ******** ******* was made aware that Mrs. ****** ****** had a concern regarding the Pima Medical Institute (PMI) Nursing Program - Tucson Campus. A letter of complaint had been sent via email to Mr. **** ********* PMI Corporate Chief Operating Officer and copied to Dr. ******* the Arizona State Board of Nursing; and the Arizona Black Nurses Association. Although there is a formal Grievance Policy stated on page 47 and 48 of the Nursing Student Handbook dated 8/21/2012 which was given to Mrs. ****** at the time of admission, the policy including the written format and the appropriate chain of command was not followed. (Exhibit 1: Grievance Policy).

On Monday November 18, 2013 Mr. ******** received a second email of complaint. This email came from Mr. ******* ******. The content and the suggested resolve of this letter were slightly different from the complaint submitted by ****** ******, *******'s wife. On Monday November 18, 2013 again Mr. ******** forwarded a copy of *******'s letter to Dr. ****** as he had done on November 15, 2013 with ********* letter. Mr. ******** responded to the ****** on November 18, 2013 indicating that he was at a conference in Nashville, TN, that he had persons who were researching and gathering data in regards to their concerns and he requested a conference call at 3pm on Thursday November 21, 2013. The ****** agreed to the conference call to speak with him regarding the matter.

Also on November 18, 2013 via email and then again on November 25, 2013 via U.S. Mail, Dr. ****** received a letter signed from Mr. and Mrs. ****** that was to be a rebuttal to the Incident Report that had been used to document the details of a meeting that was held between Dr. ****** and Mr. and Mrs. ****** on October 7, 2013. The topic of this meeting was their continued absences and inattentiveness in the classroom. Selected specific content of the Incident Report include; "As of 10/4/13 your percentage of absences for the first five weeks of this semester is at 26%." "Please consider this incident report and Change of Status forms your only warning." "If moving forward in this program you lay your head down on the table in the classroom or fall asleep in the classroom you will be asked to leave and the day will be counted as an absence. Today you are being placed on academic probation for attendance. If you have one more absence in this semester for class, lab or clinical you will be terminated from the program." The ****** did not present anything in writing to Dr. ****** at that time regarding any formal complaints. The meeting was detailed in the Incident Reports, read and signed by Mr. and Mrs. ******. (Exhibit 2: Incident Report).

The Nursing Student Handbook on page 16 regarding Progression, Clinical Evaluation and Graduation Criteria: Progression in the Associate Degree Nursing Program is based upon the following: (bullet point numbers 4 & 5)

A student absent more than 15% of the total minutes of any course or the entire semester will not be allowed to progress to the next semester. A failing grade will be issued in the particular course in which the student was absent more than 15% of the total minutes and the student must repeat the course.
If the student is absent more than 15% of the total minutes within a given semester the student will not be allowed to progress to the next semester. Failing grades will be issued in all semester courses and the student must repeat the entire semester.

Again on page 16 of the Nursing Student Handbook regarding Progression, Clinical Evaluation and Graduation Criteria: Graduation from the program requires meeting Pima Medical Institute criteria. School criteria include:
A minimum of a 77% or better in all program courses of the curriculum
Absences less than 15% of the total number of required minutes in the program
Completion of all clinical hours required. 720 clinical hours are required for the Nursing Program. LPN-RN students are required to complete 468 clinical hours

On November 7, 2013 Mr. & Mrs. ****** were involved in a fender-bender accident as they left their apartment complex approximately 10 minutes from the PMI classroom. Also involved in the accident was a car driven by what they described as an older lady who was very upset and emotionally unable to drive her car home. Mr. & Mrs. ******, aware of their Attendance Probation Status, elected to remain with the lady until such time that the granddaughter could pick up the older lady. This decision prevented the ****** from attending their 8am class. This action required a decision on the part of the Nursing Program Director. The Director requested a copy of the police report with the intention of justifying the absence via the police documented accident. The ****** indicated that the police were not called. The Director was placed in a position of making a decision based upon no proof of an accident and the element of a decision on their part made to stay with an emotionally distraught older lady. The Director in conference with the Nursing Administrative Team elected to trust the ****** and excuse the absence due to an automobile accident. The ****** arrived on the Campus around 10am. They were informed that after their classes on that day (November 7, 2013) they were to stop at the Director's office before going home. They did not honor that request and have not spoken with the Director since that time. They were allowed to remain in the classroom, lab and clinical setting.

On November 21, 2013 Mr. ******** received communication from the ****** that they were turning down his offer of a conference call. At that point, nothing could be done in regard to speaking with the ****** about their concerns.

Also on November 21, 2013 the Associate Degree Administrative Assistant for the Nursing Department received a telephone call at 7:54am asking if they had been suspended from the classroom, laboratory and clinical. The Administrative Assistant told them that they had not been and that they should come to class which began at 8:00am. Mr. & Mrs. ****** walked into the classroom at exactly 8:00am.

Additionally, on November 21, 2013 the ****** attended a nursing lab beginning at 1pm. They moved their chairs away from the rest of the students and the instructor. The faculty member being aware of their complaints said nothing to them regarding their behavior; however, both their nonverbal behavior and their attitude made the faculty member and the remaining students uncomfortable.

On Saturday, November 23 just after midnight an email was sent to Dr. ********* PMI email informing her that the ****** felt as if they had been bullied in the lab on 11/21/13 and that they would not be attending class, lab, or clinical until their grievances is resolved. This email was not viewed until Sunday morning; therefore there was no opportunity to speak with the ****** regarding their attendance.

On December 4, 2013 Mrs. ****** sent an email to the Program Director and to Mr. ********* COO indicating in one sentence that she and her husband were withdrawing from the Program.


Allegation #1 General Response: Clinical rotations do not provide necessary experiences to meet training standards and pass ********* PMI- Tucson Nursing Program offers to all students clinical experiences located in five long-term care and five acute care facilities. The acute care facilities are University of Arizona Medical Center (North & South Facilities); Tucson Medical Center; Northwest Medical Center and Oro Valley Medical Center. The clinical hours listed in the Clinical Nursing Hour Plan are followed as stated. Patients are selected either by the student, guided by the clinical faculty member or the clinical faculty member assigns the patient to the student. Patients are assigned to students or selected by students based upon condition and criticality of the patient, level of student, printed semester clinical outcomes and need of student. The needed clinical experiences for all PMI students are available and meet the outcomes for each of the clinical courses.

Specific Response to Allegation #1: Clinical rotations do not provide necessary experiences to meet training standards and pass ********** comments regarding the expressed concerns of the documentation submitted by the ******:
Each student attends the required amount of clinical hours as documented in the Clinical Nursing Hour Plan.
Every student selects a patient for the required clinical experience, does research and documentation on said patient prior to attending the clinical experience and provides nursing care for said patient on the designated clinical date which is no more than 12 hours after the patient data is gathered. All concept maps and daily written work for the assigned patient of the ****** can be found in their student files.
If the student is not providing direct nursing care for a patient that he/she has selected it would be because that patient was either discharged or passed **** during the hours prior to the clinical experience which would be no more than a 12 hours period of time.
When a patient is discharged or passes **** the student that did the research and developed a concept map prior to the clinical experience for that patient is assigned to work with a staff nurse in taking care of multiple patients or a follow-through with another patient where the student is in a safe situation.
The comparison that Mr. ****** made between a PMI fourth semester student and a fourth semester student from other local nursing programs is comparing apples and oranges. A fourth semester nursing student in all other Nursing Programs in Tucson is a graduating student. Mr. & Mrs. ****** had completed two clinical semesters prior to beginning their fourth semester. They had finished a long-term care experience in the second semester and a pediatric and obstetric experience in the third semester, as well as a medical-surgical experience with an emphasis on psychosocial behaviors along with direct patient care. The Program Director reviewed the fourth semester clinical experience of the ******. There were three days out of the 12 twelve hour days that the ****** did not provide direct patient care. The first day was the orientation day, the second day was due to the patient not being available, and the third was as a result of the installation of a new electronic documentation system, where it was at the hospital's request that students not be assigned to specific patients.
The simulation lab has never been used for a replacement of hands-on clinical experience hours and it is hoped that the patient census never drops low enough for that to be a necessary.

Allegation #2 General Response: PMI did not follow own policy as it pertains to absences for death of immediate family member.
The PMI-Tucson Nursing Program has had three students in the same class as the ****** experience the death of a father, mother, or both during the end of the last semester and the beginning of this semester. The absence policy for the death of an immediate family member has been followed to the letter of the policy. The policy lists how immediate family member is defined. The policy does not list mother-in-law or father-in-law. Students in the past who have requested an absence without penalty have been denied such requests for aunts, uncles, or cousins who have raised them.

Specific Response to Allegation #2: PMI did not follow own policy as it pertains to absences for death of immediate family member.
The following are the specific events.
Mr. ******'s step-father passed **** on September 28, 2013.
Mr. ****** was absent from clinical on September 29, 2013. Mrs. ****** was not.
The funeral service for Mr. ******'s step-father was held in California on October 4, 2013.
Mr. ****** had inquired by phone to the Clinical Director, leaving a message inquiring what would happen to them if they missed the clinical experience on October 6, 2013. The Clinical Director attempted to contact Mr. ****** by phone, but was unable to do so. The Clinical Director then sent an email to Mr. ****** indicating that he was allowed three days for a death of an immediate family member and that since they would be absent October 3, 4, & 5 that October 6th was outside the policy and as a result one of the days would have to be counted as an absence.
In the Addendums posted for all students and dated 09/03/2013 within the Attendance/Absence Policy this statement was added, "Reasons for absences for which makeup work without penalty is allowed are limited to students who experience the death of an immediate family member (mother, father, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather). At the Nursing Program Director's request, official documentation for the absence may be required." For Mr. & Mrs. ******, this policy was expanded to include step-fathers.
Mr. ******'s absence on September 29, 2013 (the day after the step-father passed ***** was treated as an excused absence without penalty and the October 3, 2013 absence was considered a regular absence with the need for a make-up day.
Mrs. ******'s absence on October 3, 2013 was treated as a regular absence with the need for a make-up day.
The absences on October 4, 5 & 6 were treated as an excused absence without penalty for both Mr. and Mrs. ******.

Allegation #3 General Response: PMI did not follow own policy as it pertains to Academic Probation. Alleged that students were placed on Academic Probation with no warning.
The only reference to Academic Probation in the Student Handbook is located on page 20 and is as follows:
If a course failure causes the student's GPA for the semester to drop below 2.0, the student will be placed on academic probation when he/she returns to repeat the failed course. Students placed on academic probation must sign a change of status form and will be expected to follow a plan for improvement mutually agreed upon by the faculty member and the student. A formal recommendation delineating appropriate activities will be specified for the student. If at any point the student is not complying with the formal recommendations, the student will be given only one written warning in regard to complying with the formal recommendations. After the written warning has been issued, the student will have seven (7) days to demonstrate their efforts in a commitment to the academic process before the student will be terminated from the Nursing Program.



Specific Response to Allegation #3: PMI did not follow own policy as it pertains to Academic Probation. Alleged that students were placed on Academic Probation with no warning.
The reference in the letters of Mr. & Mrs. ****** referring to being placed on Academic Probation would be described as follows:
Mr. & Mrs. ****** were never placed on Academic Probation for academic performance reasons, which would warrant remediation.
Mr. & Mrs. ****** were placed on Academic Probation for attendance. Content regarding Attendance/Absences is located on page 107 of the PMI College Catalog; pages 25 & 26 of the Nursing Student Handbook (08/21/2012) and in the Addendum (09/08/2013). (Exhibit 3: Attendance/Absence Policies).
Dr. ****** requested a meeting with the ****** as a result of concerns expressed by faculty members during the 09/30/2013 faculty meeting. The concerns were in regard to the attendance of Mr. & Mrs. ****** within the first five weeks of the semester beginning on September, 2, 2013. In addition, a concern was presented regarding their inattentiveness as evidenced by them laying their heads down on the tables and dozing off during the classroom time. (Exhibit 4: Attendance Record).
Faculty members had previously counseled both individuals regarding their poor academic performance and the connection between their academic performance and their alertness, attendance and lack of study time due to a work schedule.
At the end of the first five weeks of the fourth semester both Mr. & Mrs. ****** were once again failing one or more of their required semester courses. As a result of their poor academic performance both students were officially counseled by the faculty member of the course(s) they were failing. (Exhibit 5: Academic Counseling).
An Incident Report was issued for each on 10/07/2013 which resulted from the discussion that occurred during the meeting on that same day. It was the document used to provide written documentation of the details presented during the meeting. The written document was prepared summarizing the results of the meeting. Mr. & Mrs. ****** were given the opportunity to review the content; both individuals reviewed, signed and dated the document on 10/07/2013. PMI - Tucson has a formal Student Academic Check-Up Form, an Academic Probation Form and a process for placing students on Academic Probation. The Academic Probation is done at the end of a semester for a student with a low overall course grade who is moving on to the next semester, or it is done for a student who was terminated for a failure and is returning to repeat the course. At the meeting on October 7, 2013 there was no discussion regarding their academic performance.
The Academic Probation policy was never violated because the issue surrounding the events that resulted in this complaint came from the attendance records of both Mr. & Mrs. ******, not their academic performance. The academic performance of a student is handled by the individual faculty members, not the Nursing Program Director, unless it is in tandem with the faculty member or is resulting in a termination from the program.


Allegation #4 General Response: Administering of testing, more specifically Kaplan testing, with no instruction or curriculum given pertaining to test.
On page 17 and 48 of the Student Handbook a detailed listing of the Kaplan Assessment Examinations and when they would be given during the program is found. It states the following:
Kaplan Examinations
Kaplan Assessment Examinations will be given throughout the Nursing Program. Below is the list of the corresponding semester.

Fundamentals Pre-Professional Semester
Gerontology 100 Professional Semester II
Medical Surgical I Professional Semester I
Medical Surgical II Professional Semester III
Obstetrics Professional Semester II
Obstetrics/Growth and Development Professional Semester II
Pathophysiology Professional Semester I
Pediatrics Professional Semester II
Wellness/Physical Assessment Professional Semester I
Kaplan Basic Math Pre-Professional Semester
Kaplan Level II Math Pre-Professional Semester
Kaplan Math for Critical Care Professional Semester V
Kaplan Pediatric Math Professional Semester II

These examinations are given to help develop the student academically. Based upon the results of these examinations, students may be remanded to tutoring or remediation.

At the end of the fourth and sixth semester these Kaplan Examinations are given:
Kaplan Transition Examination Professional Semester III
Kaplan Diagnostic Examination Professional Semester V
Kaplan Predictor Examination Professional Semester V
Kaplan Readiness Examination Professional Semester V

The entire Kaplan Assessment Package is purchased for each student and is part of their program and available to them at all times because it includes remediation of test questions and practice examinations in each of the specific areas. The students have access to actually more than the examinations listed above. Because the Assessment Examinations are not utilized for a grade a faculty member can administer an additional examination such as the Critical Thinking Examination if they believe it meets the objectives for the lesson and is a learning experience.

Minimum cutoff scores are required. The explanations for the results of these examinations can be found in the HSC175 and NUR242 course syllabi.

This is exactly how the program has proceeded with the Administration of the Kaplan Examinations. Each of the Assessment Examinations is given at the end of the semester in which the content pertaining to that particular Assessment Examination is presented. The Assessment Examinations are not used for a grade, they are utilized to counsel students on their individual progress throughout the curriculum.

Specific Response to Allegation #4: Administering of testing, more specifically Kaplan testing, with no instruction or curriculum given pertaining to test.
Mr. & Mrs. ****** were enrolled in the fourth semester. The Kaplan Transition Examination is given in the fourth semester. The Transition Examination covers the content which is presented in the first three semesters of the PMI-Tucson Nursing Program. It is given at the end of the fourth semester and is utilized as part of the overall grade for HSC 175 Professional Transition I. They were both already failing HSC 175 and had not scored well on the Kaplan Examinations that had been previously been taken in the first three semesters. This course is 48 contact hours of review of the content presented in the first three semesters. The content of the Transition Examination is Practical Nurse Level. It is utilized to determine if the student ending the fourth semester has acquired the knowledge level of a Practical Nurse and has the background and foundation to transition to the fifth and sixth semesters which include the complex care nursing content. The statement that the school provides no preparatory curriculum to pass **** test is without merit as each Transition Examination covers content which is presented in previous semesters.

Allegation #5 General Response: Regional Accreditation and transfer of credit was not disclosed upon enrollment.
Pima Medical Institute is not a Regionally Accredited Institution by the choice of the Corporate Administration. The Nursing Program has never pretended to be Regionally Accredited. The State Board of Nursing approval to operate is listed in the appropriate documents as well as information regarding transfer of credits. The Program currently has graduates who have graduated from bachelors and masters degree programs in nursing. In discussion with any of these graduates there has never been a complaint of difficulty in transferring credits or admission to a bachelors or masters degree program in nursing.

Specific Response to Allegation #5: Regional Accreditation and transfer of credit was not disclosed upon enrollment.
This is information that is readily available to the student. The PMI College Catalog, on page 4, indicates for the Tucson Campus the Institutional Accreditation, Program Accreditations, Licensed by, Approved by, and State Registrations and Recognitions. On page 107 of the PMI College Catalog the statement is made, "Pima Medical Institute does not guarantee the transfer of credits from or to any other institutions. In addition this concern is addressed on pages 11 & 12 of the Prospective Student Handout, Tucson Campus Nursing Program, which is given in paper copy to each enrolling student. It is also found in the RN Prospective Student Handout on the PMI RN Website, under Frequently Asked Questions; questions 6 and 9 which ask "Is the Program Accredited?" and "Will credits from Pima Medical Institute transfer to another institution?"
(see hard copy online)

Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
********MY RESPONSE IS IN PARENTHESIS*******

On November 15, 2013, the Nursing Program Director (Dr. Jeannine Hayduk) was made aware that Mrs. ****** ****** had a concern regarding the Pima Medical Institute (PMI) Nursing Program - Tucson Campus. A letter of complaint had been sent via email to Mr. **** ********* PMI Corporate Chief Operating Officer and copied to Dr. ******* the Arizona State Board of Nursing; and the Arizona Black Nurses Association. Although there is a formal Grievance Policy stated on page 47 and 48 of the Nursing Student Handbook dated 8/21/2012 which was given to Mrs. ****** at the time of admission, the policy including the written format and the appropriate chain of command was not followed. (Exhibit 1: Grievance Policy).

(.We did indeed present the schools representatives with a formal letter of complaint on Novemeber 15th 2013 but was not the only complaint made. My husband, myself, as well as other students in the program had made informal complaints and or suggestions in regard to the schools inadequacies or unpreparedness. The proper chain of command had been followed as illustrated in the Grievance policy starting with the class representatives (whom were present on a few occasions in class when students were expressing their issues.)

On Monday November 18, 2013 Mr. ******** received a second email of complaint. This email came from Mr. ******* ******. The content and the suggested resolve of this letter were slightly different from the complaint submitted by ****** ******, *******'s wife. On Monday November 18, 2013 again Mr. ******** forwarded a copy of *******'s letter to Dr. ****** as he had done on November 15, 2013 with ********* letter. Mr. ******** responded to the ****** on November 18, 2013 indicating that he was at a conference in Nashville, TN, that he had persons who were researching and gathering data in regards to their concerns and he requested a conference call at 3pm on Thursday November 21, 2013. The ****** agreed to the conference call to speak with him regarding the matter.

(Pima medical institute is correct in the fact that my husband submitted his own separate complaint in regards to the matter because we were individually affected by the incident (just because we are married does not mean we are one intity which is how we were continually treated). We had full intentions of speaking with the COO but opted out of the phone conference because we felt that a complaint of this magnitude and seriousness is not one in which PMI nor ourselves have had to deal with so we decided to cancel until we had representation. There is close to 100,000 invested in this program between my husband and I and we want to handle every aspect of this complaint delicately because we would like a refund.)

Also on November 18, 2013 via email and then again on November 25, 2013 via U.S. Mail, Dr. ****** received a letter signed from Mr. and Mrs. ****** that was to be a rebuttal to the Incident Report that had been used to document the details of a meeting that was held between Dr. ****** and Mr. and Mrs. ****** on October 7, 2013. (The contents of the Incident Report were erroneous and fabricated with untrue implications of our commitment and academic lacking's in the program. This is a small community and this letter reflects poorly on us as students and individuals who could have possibly hindered our chances of getting a job after school.) The topic of this meeting was their continued absences and inattentiveness in the classroom. (This is untrue. We are dedicated and committed students and that is reflected on and off campus. Every one of our clinical instructors and clinical rotation staff has spoken highly of us and does not at all match the students Dr. ****** described us to be in the incident report. And if in fact there was a meeting to discuss our academic progress before this incident report was issued than why did most of the instructors and students not know of our whereabouts when we attended the funeral? There was a serious lack of communication of the faculty's part because our clinical instructor, students as well as Clinical Director were not sure of our whereabouts. On Sunday we received a text message from our clinical instructor asking if we were ok and where we were.) Selected specific content of the Incident Report include; "As of 10/4/13 your percentage of absences for the first five weeks of this semester is at 26%." ( We feel this percentage includes the days missed due to the funeral which increases the attendance percentage rate) "Please consider this incident report and Change of Status forms your only warning. (After reviewing the student handbook we were under the impression that some type of warning should have been issued prior to the academic probation verbal, written or otherwise) " "If moving forward in this program you lay your head down on the table in the classroom or fall asleep in the classroom you will be asked to leave and the day will be counted as an absence. The letter also stated for both my husband and myself that we were not gleaning in the program and that work has an influence on our learning and progress. (This is also untrue I changed my work status from full time to part time in the 3rd semester where I only work one to two days a week. Furthermore my husband has not worked one day since we began the program. How could this possibly be the reason for our lack of commitment? My husband also receives housing allowance from his G.I. Bill agreement in relation to the days he attends school. Again, the attacks and defamation of our character prove to be lies because if my husband does not attend class we cannot pay our rent every month, why would we jeopardize our financial security to "play hooky" and fall asleep in class? The claim is ridiculous! ) more absence in this semester for class, lab or clinical you will be terminated from the program." The ****** did not present anything in writing to Dr. ****** at that time regarding any formal complaints. ( My husband and I felt forced to sign this incident report and change of status in fear of being terminated from the program. We were physically and emotionally exhausted from driving 8+ hours back to Tucson from the funeral they were notified of ahead of time. We arrived Monday morning on time and attended every class with no inclination that there was ever an issue until the end of the day when the Nursing Director, Dr. ****** called us into her office, closed the door behind us and said "I'm sorry for your loss but today we have to place both of you on Academic Probation for attendance. We were blindsided because no one had said anything to us before we went out of town about this even being a possibility. We received no warning prior to our departure and it was not until October 3rd, the day before the funeral, that Mr.****** received an email stating the consequences of our absences which was too late because we had already traveled to another state by the time they decided to communicate this concern to us. It seemed as though this was done purposely due to the fact that we had notified the school prior to our departure, called them throughout the week and also provided the obituary as well as a letter from the mortuary stating our whereabouts (which we explained prior to leaving). All communication was facilitated through the receptionist as advised to all students through the student handbook.) The meeting was detailed in the Incident Reports, read and signed by Mr. and Mrs. ******. (Exhibit 2: Incident Report).

The Nursing Student Handbook on page 16 regarding Progression, Clinical Evaluation and Graduation Criteria: Progression in the Associate Degree Nursing Program is based upon the following: (bullet point numbers 4 & 5)

A student absent more than 15% of the total minutes of any course or the entire semester will not be allowed to progress to the next semester. (We did in fact have absences prior to the incident, however, all of which were communicated with the receptionist as the student handbook instructs all students to do and we had justifiable reasons to be absent. At no time did anyone communicate our absences ever being an issue at this point in the program.) A failing grade will be issued in the particular course in which the student was absent more than 15% of the total minutes and the student must repeat the course.
If the student is absent more than 15% of the total minutes within a given semester the student will not be allowed to progress to the next semester. Failing grades will be issued in all semester courses and the student must repeat the entire semester.

Again on page 16 of the Nursing Student Handbook regarding Progression, Clinical Evaluation and Graduation Criteria: Graduation from the program requires m

Final Business Response
Response to Consumer Rebuttal

Case ********** *******/****** ****** dated

January 11, 2014


The following comments are provided in response to Mr. and Mrs. ******' rebuttal to our initial response dated December 27, 2013.

Not following the grievance policy: Pima Medical Institute (PMI) will concede this point to the ******. In the overall scheme of the ******' complaint against PMI arguing back and forth over whether or not they followed the proper grievance procedure is irrelevant and has nothing to do with the more important issues that need to be resolved.

Cancelled meeting with COO: Upon receiving their written complaint, PMI made every attempt to properly communicate and resolve the issues Mr. and Mrs. ****** expressed in their email. They state in their rebuttal that they "felt a complaint of this magnitude and seriousness is not one in which PMI nor ourselves have had to deal with so we decided to cancel until we had representation". To date the ****** have not made any further attempt to contact us to work out their grievances. Instead of sitting down and communicating with each other back in December 2013 and trying to work through our differences, the ****** opted instead to send their written complaints to several agencies, the BBB being one of those agencies, trying to gain their support. Unfortunately, because of this tactic, we are no closer to a resolution today than we were on November 15th when the initial complaint was made.

Erroneous and fabricated contents of incident report: The contents of the incident report, included as exhibit 2 in our initial response, are true. Paragraph one of the incident report states, "As of 10/4/13 your percentage of absences for the first five weeks of this semester is at 26%. This number of absences does not demonstrate a commitment to the program, to learning, nor to the profession of nursing. Of the last four classroom days you were here exactly two days. When you are in attendance you display behavior that indicates that you are either falling asleep during class or you simply lay your head down on the table indicating that you are asleep". The ******' state that the incident report reflects poorly on them as students and will hinder their chances of getting a job after school. The incident does reflect poorly upon them as students, however, it would not have hindered them in getting a job upon graduation. The incident report is an internal school document meant entirely to motivate students who are not doing well to do better and to let them know that continued unchanged behavior could result in their dismissal from the school.

Lack of communication: The ****** state that there was a "lack of communication on the faculty's part because our clinical instructor, students as well as Clinical Director were not sure of our whereabouts". Again, as above, this statement is irrelevant and has nothing to do with the more important issues that need to be resolved.


Percentage of absences: The ****** state in their rebuttal that "We feel this percentage includes the days missed due to the funeral which increases the attendance percentage rate". The ****** are basing their statement on a feeling and not facts. Their percentage of absences could have been made clear to the ****** from the very beginning had they chosen to sit down with the PMI leadership to discuss their situation. As we stated in our response to the ******, via the Better Business Bureau, and as we state now, The ******' percentage of absences was calculated as of Oct 4, 2013. In preparing this response and reviewing the attendance record we did notice an error in that the percentage of absences was in fact 20% vice the initially reported 26%. We must note, however, that 20% is still above the maximum percent of allowable absences.

Working while attending PMI: PMI's statement regarding working and becoming a safe, efficient, quality registered nurse can be found in paragraph 2 of the incident report. For convenience, it is reproduced here: "Your absence pattern during this program has become intolerable and is unacceptable behavior. It is time that you make a decision as to whether you want to be educated as a safe, efficient, quality registered nurse or whether you want to work full time." Better wording for the last sentence would have us remove the last portion and instead insert "or whether to want to continue your pattern of absences and passive ******** in the classroom".

Felt forced to sign the incident report: The ****** were not forced in any way to sign their respective incident reports nor was there any threat verbal or otherwise that they would be terminated if they didn't sign. If not signed then it is just countersigned by another instructor stating that the students refused to sign. The document is no less binding as a result. The last two sentences of the fourth paragraph and the entire fifth paragraph of the incident report states that "Today you are being placed on academic probation for attendance. If you have one more absence in this semester for class, lab or clinical you will be terminated from the program. If terminated, you are welcome to return once more to complete the program. It is my sincere hope that this situation does not arise; however, if it does upon your return please be prepared to be in attendance at all expected sessions and be awake and alert for learning purposes". The incident report is the nursing programs way of documenting that they have had this discussion with the student. If the student(s) does not change their behavior then they cannot say that they were not warned.
We received no warning prior to our departure: Unfortunately an administrative error occurred, the result of which was the unnoticed high number of absences the ****** were accumulating. Their percentage of absences was over the probation limit prior to leaving for Mr. ******' father's funeral. Due to this oversight the ****** should have been placed on attendance warning some weeks earlier. The timing of the delivery in this case would have been difficult in either case. Do we tell the ****** that they are on attendance probation before or after the funeral? In this situation we chose to tell them after they returned so as not to increase their angst in an already very emotional situation. Because of our error in not being able to place the ****** on academic warning they were not terminated from the program when they both were absent again on November 7, 2013 due to a minor car accident.

PMI has been in the business of educating medical professionals for over 40 years and we treat all of our students the same; with dignity and respect. As stated in paragraph three above, PMI is willing to sit down with the ****** to discuss their situation. Unfortunately, they both voluntarily withdrew from the program at a time just prior to completing the fourth semester. Provided they didn't have any more absences between November 7th and December 20th, it would have been beneficial for them to complete the semester. Again, they would have known this had they chosen to communicate with us prior to making the decision to withdraw. PMI will not consider the ******' request until after both parties have had the opportunity to meet face-to-face and discuss the grievances.
Sincerely,

**** D. ****
Campus Director
Pima Medical Institute
520-326-1600 (phone)
520-326-3945 (fax)
*****@pmi.edu
(see hard copy online)

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