Nursing Student Says School Told Them to Threaten Patients to Vaccinate

A Michigan woman is reportedly suing Baker College because she says she was thrown out of their nursing program after questioning instructors whom she claims told her and other students that one of their responsibilities was to make sure patients got vaccinated—even if it meant lying to and threatening them.


Nichole Rolfe says she was kicked out of the private school's program in October 2013, 20 weeks before she was supposed to graduate. She claims she was shown the door because she dared question two instructors who, she claims had interesting things to say about vaccinations.

One, according to Rolfe, instructed students to go back in and threaten moms who declined vaccinations by telling them they'd lose their Medicaid if they refused to vaccinate their newborns and might have to pay for their entire hospital visit out of pocket. If this is true, I can certainly imagine it being an effective—though evil—strategy that would work on many (most?) parents who can't afford a $20,000 hospital bill.

Rolfe says this instructor's "advice" was the last straw and that it came two days after a different instructor told students to alert new dads about a policy in which they would have to be vaccinated for several diseases, including whooping cough, right before they would be allowed to visit the hospital floor with newborn babies. Assuming this is accurate, it totally conflicts with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation that parents be vaccinated two weeks prior to a baby's birth. Basically, getting a shot minutes before you hold your baby isn't going protect him or her.

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I vaccinated both of my children, but I am disgusted by the idea that a medical professional would be instructed to bully a parent into making that decision for his or her family. With that said, there is more to this story than just Rolfe's side of it.

Officials at Baker College say Rolfe wasn't kicked out of the program for questioning her instructors, but that she became aggressive and continually argumentative over it. They also claim she was placed on a behavior contract in June 2013 over a conflict she had with another student about homosexuality.

Rolfe is seeking more than $25,000 in damages and wants Baker to strike the black mark on her transcript so that she can be allowed to enroll in another nursing program.

What do you think about this student's claims against her former nursing program? Are you surprised that an instructor would say this?


Image via U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District/Flickr

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