Sunday, February 4, 2018

Access to RN-BSN programs for nurses who use wheelchairs



A nurse who uses a power wheelchair shared the following story:

I was recently accepted into an RN to BSN program. I have an incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI) from an accident. I use a power wheelchair, drive a modified van and do not require any accommodations for writing, computer or telephone use. I am also Minimum Data Set (MDS) certified.

I was officially accepted into the nursing program. The program never asked about my disability or shared any technical standards.

I attended the first week of classes and was told, "you can't be a nurse because you don't meet the college's technical standards." There is a small component of the program that includes a clinical experience and they said I wouldn't be able to participate as, "I must be able to ambulate without any assistive device".

So many questions to ask about this situation?????

You "can't be a nurse". She is a nurse!!!!!

Isn't this screaming discrimination?

What about Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and reasonable accommodation?

The clinical portion of an RN-BSN program is typically in a community setting...so accommodation would certainly be possible.

What about totally online RN-BSN programs?

What would you advise this nurse to do?

With thanks in advance!

Donna