Leave of Absence and Withdrawal

I. Policy

It is to the School’s advantage to have enrolled students complete the course of study. When extenuating circumstances arise which require a student to be absent, all reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate the situation and enable the individual to meet the requirements for the degree.

It is understood that this policy and these procedures apply to situations in which the student will be absent from the School for the remainder of a term or longer.

II. Leave of Absence

A. Definition: Leave of absence (LOA) is permission granted to a student to interrupt the program of study for a specified time.

Since the purpose of a leave is to relieve a student of educational obligations, students will not normally be allowed to enroll in courses, audit courses, or continue in scholarly work during the period of leave.

B. Granting of Leave:

(1) Students should meet with their academic advisor and Specialty or Program Director to discuss their request.  Students must complete the appropriate form before a request can be considered. Forms can be found online at http://nursing.yale.edu/withdrawal-leave-absence.

(2) The request for LOA must be approved by the Program Director/Specialty Coordinator after consultation with the student. The request is approved and forwarded to the Division Chair and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Approval of leave will be noted by a formal letter to the student from the Associate Dean, with a copy to the Division Chair, Specialty Coordinator/Program Director, Academic Advisor, and the Financial Aid Officer.

(3) The granting of a student leave must be in accordance with the Academic Progression Policy.

(4) There must be sufficient evidence that circumstances, medical or otherwise, exist which make it impossible or difficult for the student to continue with a program of study; and there must be evidence that once these circumstances are resolved, the student would be able and committed to continuing the program of study. This determination is made by the Specialty Coordinator or Program Director after an interview with the student, consultation with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Division Chair, and review of the clinician’s recommendation when indicated.

(5) International students who apply for a leave of absence must consult with OISS regarding their visa status.

C.  Yale University Health Services (YUHS): If a student is enrolled in the YUHS before the LOA is granted, the student is automatically covered by YUHS for any term in which tuition has been paid. The student is eligible to continue YUHS coverage while on LOA by enrolling in a “Self Pay” option within 30 days from the official start date of the LOA.

D. Term of Leave: LOA will be granted, for a fixed and limited term, which will ordinarily be two terms or less. The specific length of the LOA is determined by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, upon receipt of recommendation from the Division Chair and Specialty Coordinator/Program Director, with appropriate consultation with the student.

E. Medical Leave:

(1) A student who must interrupt study temporarily because of illness or injury may be granted a medical leave of absence based on the written recommendation of a clinician on the staff of the University Health Services and with the approval of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, and the student’s Division Chair and Specialty Coordinator/Program Director.

(2) The School reserves the right to place a student on a medical leave of absence when, on the recommendation of the director of the University Health Services or the Chief of the Division of Mental Hygiene, the Dean determines that the student is a danger to self or others because of a serious medical problem.

(3) Before re-registering, a student on medical leave must secure written permission to return to school from a clinician at the University Health Services. The determination will be based on the School’s judgment of whether the student is able to fully engage in the program of study.

F. Parental Leave:

(1) A student who wishes or needs to interrupt study temporarily for reasons of pregnancy, maternity care, or paternity care may be granted a leave of absence for parental responsibilities. The general policies governing all leaves of absence are described above.

(2) Any student planning to have or care for a child is encouraged to meet with his or her Program Director/Specialty Coordinator as soon as possible to discuss individualized leaves or other short-term arrangements. For many students, short-term arrangements rather than a leave of absence are possible.

G. U.S. Military Leave:

(1) Students who wish or need to interrupt their studies to perform U.S. military service are subject to a separate U.S. military leave readmissions policy. In the event a student Master’s Program (M.S.N.) withdraws or takes a leave of absence from YSN to serve in the U.S. military, the student will be entitled to guaranteed readmission under the following conditions.

a. The student must have served in the U.S. Armed Forces for a period of more than thirty consecutive days;

b. The student must give advance written or verbal notice of such service to the special advance notice the student does not need to indicate whether he or she intends to return. This advance notice need not come directly from the student, but rather, can be made by an appropriate officer of the U.S. Armed Forces or official of the U.S. Department of Defense. Notice is not required if precluded by military necessity. In all cases, this notice requirement can be fulfilled at the time the student seeks readmission, by submitting an attestation that the student performed the service.

c. The student must not be away from the School to perform U.S. military service for a period exceeding five years (this includes all previous absences to perform U.S. military service but does not include any initial period of obligated service). If a student’s time away from the School to perform U.S. military service exceeds five years because the student is unable to obtain release orders through no fault of the student or the student was ordered to or retained on active duty, the student should contact the assistant dean for student affairs to determine if the student remains eligible for guaranteed readmission.

d. The student must notify YSN within three years of the end of the U.S. military service of his or her intention to return. However, a student who is hospitalized or recovering from an illness or injury incurred in or aggravated during the U.S. military service has up until two years after recovering from the illness or injury to notify YSN of his or her intent to return; and

e. The student cannot have received a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge or have been sentenced in a court-martial.

(2) A student who meets all of these conditions will be readmitted for the next term, unless the student requests a later date of readmission. Any student who fails to meet one of these requirements may still be readmitted under the general readmission policy but is not guaranteed readmission.

(3) Upon returning to YSN, the student will resume his or her education without repeating completed course work for courses interrupted by U.S. military service. The student will have the same enrolled status last held and with the same academic standing. For the first academic year in which the student returns, the student will be charged the tuition and fees that would have been assessed for the academic year in which the student left the institution. YSN may charge up to the amount of tuition and fees other students are assessed, however, if veteran’s education benefits will cover the difference between the amounts currently charged other students and the amount charged for the academic year in which the student left.

(4) All students in clinical programs who are away from YSN for more than two consecutive terms are required to pass a re-entry assessment to demonstrate clinical safety and proficiency. This assessment will normally consist of a written exam, written cases, and demonstration of a comprehensive history and physical exam with relevant SOAP note documentation. The assessment will include content from the student’s clinical specialty area encompassing relevant didactic and clinical courses completed prior to the leave of absence. In the case of a student who is not prepared to resume his or her studies with the same academic status at the same point at which the student left or who will not be able to complete the program of study, YSN will undertake reasonable efforts to help the student become prepared. If after reasonable efforts, YSN determines that the student remains unprepared or will be unable to complete the program or after YSN determines that there are no reasonable efforts it can take, YSN may deny the student readmission.

H.  Return after Leave: A student on LOA has the right to return to the School to complete the requirements for the degree at the date the LOA expires, provided that:

(1) The student notified the School, in writing, by the date specified in the original letter granting the leave, of her or his intention to return;

(2) The student has complied with any written conditions of the LOA by the time the LOA has expired; and

(3) In the case of a medical LOA, a medical statement has been provided in accordance with paragraph E (3) above, and the Division Chair, Specialty Coordinator/Program Director, and Associate Dean for Student Affairs, have determined that the student is eligible to return. A student who, for any reason does not enroll at the termination of the LOA, shall be determined to have terminated his/her association with the School, and will be ineligible to return.

I. Records: When LOA is granted, appropriate materials will be filed in the student’s folder regarding date and length of leave. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs will notify the Registrar and Financial Aid so that they may communicate with Student Financial Services, YUHS, and other offices as deemed necessary. They will follow the same procedure if leave is extended and/or ended by the student’s return or termination of her/his association with the School.

III. Withdrawal

Reasons for Withdrawal
Withdrawal is termination of the student’s association with the School. It may or may
not be renegotiated, depending on the circumstances of withdrawal. Withdrawal may be initiated by the student or by faculty, and the student may be eligible or ineligible to return. In rare cases, at the discretion of the Dean, the school may withdraw a student if it is determined that they are a danger to self or others or if the student is unable to act on their behalf to prevent academic and/or financial jeopardy.  Students in the GEPN year may be withdrawn from the program by the Program Director and Division Chair due to a course failure. Failure of a course means the student is unable to progress in the GEPN Program. For students with academic difficulty in the MSN specialty years or the DNP program, procedures are outlined in Policy #23, MSN/DNP Students in Academic Difficulty.

Withdrawal Procedures
Students who initiate withdrawal are required to complete and submit the withdrawal form that is available on the School’s website at http://nursing.yale.edu/withdrawal-leave-absence. If a student is withdrawn from the School due to academic failure, the Program or Specialty Director and student’s academic advisor will meet with the student to notify the student that they are being withdrawn from the program. The Program or Specialty Director will follow up with an official letter of withdrawal that includes: 1) date the student was notified of the withdrawal, 2) rationale for withdrawal, 3) semester of withdrawal and 4) signature of the director. The letter of withdrawal is sent to the student and copied to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Division Chair and the Executive Deputy Dean. In the circumstance that the student is withdrawn and ineligible to return, the student’s transcript will state “Withdrawn—ineligible to return” and a letter will be placed in the student’s file.

Upon receipt of the withdrawal form from the student or the official letter of withdrawal from the Program or Specialty Director, the Associate Dean of Student Affairs will notify the YSN Financial Aid Office and the YSN Registrar. Tuition charges will be adjusted as specified in Refund and Rebate, in the chapter General Information of the Bulletin.

Petition for Readmission
The student who is eligible to return to the program, and desires readmission, must first meet with the Program or Specialty Director and follow up with a petition to the School for readmission no later than three months prior to the start of the following academic year. The written petition should be sent to the Specialty or Program Director and the Associate Dean of Student Affairs along with updated transcripts and a résumé or CV, if indicated. Petitions will be reviewed by the Specialty or Program Director with the program faculty and notification of the decision will be sent to the student within a month of receipt. If the student is permitted to return to the program, the Specialty or Program Director will identify the expectations and requirements, including but not limited to courses. If more than two semesters have lapsed, the student will be required to establish clinical competency either through a comprehensive exam or by re-taking a clinical course.

Revised 5.15.19
Approved by BPO 5.22.19