I. Policy Statement
Western Carolina University (the “University”) is committed to maintaining a drug-free workplace and academic environment in compliance with the federal Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 and in accordance with University Policy #38, Illegal Drugs, and University of North Carolina Policy 1300.1, Illegal Drugs. Further, the University is committed to provide campus experiences for its students that are safe, legal, and responsible, in accordance with University Policy #81, General Campus Policy for Alcoholic Beverages, and the University Code of Student Conduct.
II. University Interests
For obvious health and safety concerns, all students enrolled in the University’s College of Health and Human Sciences healthcare programs (each individually the “Program” or collectively the “Programs”) must participate in clinical education activities in full control of their manual dexterity and skills, mental faculties, and judgment. The presence of alcohol and/or drugs, lawfully prescribed or otherwise, which interfere with the student’s judgment or motor coordination in a healthcare setting poses an unacceptable risk to patients, faculty, other students, the University, and affiliated clinical agencies (i.e., hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, health systems, and other healthcare organizations involved with student education and with which the University has a clinical affiliation agreement in place). The University recognizes its responsibility to provide for a safe academic environment for University students, faculty, and staff, as well as a safe clinical setting for students and patients and employees of affiliated clinical agencies. For the foregoing reasons, the University and the College have adopted this policy to further the following interests:
1. To prevent the possession, consumption or distribution of illegal drugs, which violates applicable federal and state law, University Policy #38 and/or the University Code of Student Conduct and substantially adversely impacts the efficacy and integrity of the Programs;
2. To promote the safe, legal, and responsible purchase, consumption or possession of alcohol, in accordance with University Policy #81, General Campus Policy for Alcoholic Beverages
3. To ensure, to the extent possible, the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff, and to promote the general welfare of the University community;
4. To ensure, to the extent possible, the health and safety of patients who are admitted to affiliated clinical agencies and receive direct patient care from students;
5. To cooperate with affiliated clinical agencies by ensuring, to the extent possible, that students comply with agency policies, rules, and regulations pertaining to the placement of students in clinical/practical experiences, including agency alcohol and drug testing policies;
6. To comply with affiliated clinical agency contractual requirements pertaining to student criminal background screening and drug screening; and
7. To ensure, to the extent possible, that students participating in the Programs are academically prepared and fully qualified for licensure by the applicable state licensing board.
III. Healthcare Professions Licensure Requirements
Students in the Programs shall be familiar with applicable legal and ethical requirements set forth in North Carolina state licensure laws and regulations pertaining to healthcare professions and occupations.
North Carolina healthcare professions and occupations licensing boards may initiate an investigation upon receipt of information about any practice that may violate any provision of the licensing statute or any rule or regulation of the board. Boards generally have the power to: (i) refuse to issue a license; (ii) refuse to issue a certificate of renewal of a license; (iii) revoke or suspend a license; and (iv) invoke other such disciplinary