What to do if I am a nursing student who was dismissed from school for allegedly violating HIPPA?

UPDATED: Nov 2, 2014

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What to do if I am a nursing student who was dismissed from school for allegedly violating HIPPA?

I posted a picture on instagram of me holding a newborn. There is no who, what, when, where on the picture. The nursing school said I violated HIPPA and I got dismissed. However, there is a Clinical Points Tool in our handbook showing if you violated HIPPA, it’s just 15 points off your grade. Do I have a case here?

Asked on November 2, 2014 under Malpractice Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

A picture, without more, really isn't a violation of HIPPA.  However, it could potentially be viewed that way-- if that is how they interpret HIPPA, they could proceed forward with disciplinary action. 

This is not a medical malpractice case, though.  This a school law case.  School law is based on administrative procedures.  This means that you need to use the system in place to seek reinstatement. Every school has a system of discipline and procedure for appealing that discipline.  That is where you need to start to appeal your discipline as extreme, especially when your handbook shows a different result.  After you complete that process, you can then appeal the case upward to administrative agencies.  Some attorneys dabble in different areas of law-- but school law is not an area for dabbling.  Find an attorney that does school law and arrange for a consultation to review all of the facts of your case.  They can help guide you through the administrative process to insure that you do no miss any critical timelines.

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