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ADVANCE Perspective: Nurses

Facebook Post Gets Nursing Students Kicked Out of School

Published January 5, 2011 9:50 PM by Chuck Holt

Doyle Byrnes, a 22-year-old nursing student at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, KS,  is suing the school in federal court for dismissing her from its registered nursing program in response to a photo she posted on her Facebook page showing her posing with a human placenta in a lab class, according to a report in the Kansas City Star.

Byrnes reportedly was one of seven students from the large junior college located in the suburb of Kansasa City, MO who were involved in the Nov. 10 incident, which occurred during an off-campus clinical lab course at Olathe Medical Center in nearby Olathe, KS.  

One of the students received permission from the instructor to take the photo of Byrnes and four other students posing individually with the placenta specifically to post on Facebook, reports the Star, citing court documents. According to the lawsuit, the instructor merely said, "Oh, you girls," and did not tell them not to do it or that they could be disciplined for it..

Only Byrnes is believed to have posted a photo on her Facebook account, and for just 3 hours, immediately taking it down after receiving a telephone call from the instructor that evening telling her to remove it. All four of the students who posed for the photos were dismissed from the nursing program the next day, according to the Star. It is unclear why the other three received no disciplinary action. Other than Byrnes, none of the students are named in the lawsuit, the Star reports.  

"Your demeanor and lack of professional behavior surrounding this event was considered a disruption to the learning environment and did not exemplify the professional behavior that we expect in the nursing program," Jeanne Walsh, director of nursing at the college, reportedly wrote in a letter to Byrnes that is included as an exhibit with the complaint.

According to the Star, Byrnes also included in her lawsuit a letter she wrote to Walsh seeking leniency:

"In my excitement to be able to share with my loved ones the phenomenal learning experience in which I had been blessed enough to take part, I did not consider that others might view this photograph as unprofessional, offensive to the school I was representing and more importantly the sanctity of human life," Byrnes reportedly wrote. "For my actions I am truly sorry."

The school has since said the students could seek readmission in the fall and finish the nursing program in May 2012, according to report from the Associated Press, and Walsh has indicated she would support Byrnes were she to attempt to do so.

Byrnes, however, reportedly planned to graduate in May, get married in August and move to Virginia to begin her career as an RN in the fall. Hence, the lawsuit, which seeks a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to force the school to reinstate her before classes resume Jan. 19. She has since closed her Facebook account.   

According to the Star, Byrnes' attorney, Clifford Cohen, argues his client was deprived of due process in being summarily dismissed from the nursing program when the school's code of conduct does not address photographs or social media.

"With this kind of black mark on her record, who knows whether she can enroll in another nursing school," Cohen told the Star. "Would she be able to get a job?"



It's a blessing in disguise! Nursing will ruin your life, your marriage, and has NO future other than caring for spoiled baby boomers and drug addicts.

Do yourself a favor, do anything but nursing!

Jack Tatum December 10, 2013 1:52 PM

You have to complete a ninrusg program towards a ninrusg diploma or degree. Once enrolled in a ninrusg program, they will outline the required classes you need to take (it's more than 1 class). There are a number of ninrusg jobs available at this point and with the ninrusg shortage, your sister should have no problems getting a job. But that alone does not make her a Registered Nurse.After completing the ninrusg education program, you can then take the National Council of Licensing Exam for ninrusg. If you pass that exam, you are then granted your license to be a Registered Nurse.

Tasha Tasha, rMAiwhLakfE - OYQvOMJvanjEcKc, AoThgCOpSl March 20, 2012 9:45 AM

I think someone should look into how many nursing students get 'kicked out' for unvalidated reasons.  I was removed from nursing school in 1999 an hour and a half before my LPN pinning in Kansas as well for 'lack of professionalism'.  I never did anything remotely bad enough to ever get me kicked out of school.  They also promised me that I would be allowed to return and finish the last course again.  A year later when I reapplied, they rejected me.  That's when I got a lawyer, but time was running out- one took 9 months to determine it was my word against theirs, and I was too broke to hire another lawyer.  The school completely ruined my life and career and left me holding the bag on student loans which I still cannot afford to repay, much less go back and do it all over again.  Credits wouldn't transfer without me having to redo nearly all of it.  Something is very wrong with the way they do this to people.  

Teresa January 6, 2011 12:07 PM

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