Woman Dismissed from School Following Hospitalization
MISSION – A woman's nursing education is on hold tonight.
Ashley Vasquez dream of becoming a nurse sparked from a sensitive time in her life.
"It happened around the time that my grandpa got sick and I would see the nurses that would go in and they were just really nice," said Vasquez.
She enrolled in a year-long program at Valley Grande Institute to make her dream a reality. One week away from taking her final exams, Vasquez got sick.
"I was there for six days," Vasquez said. "When I went in, I had a kidney infection and pulmonary edema."
Her absence from school, she said, put her over the schools 20 hour absence limit.
Prior to her hospitalization, Vasquez had already accumulated 18 hours. A grievance hearing was called where Vasquez had the chance to explain her situation and present her medical documentation from the hospital.
"At the meeting, they basically were saying I should have taken care of my hours more and that that's why we have those hours. But I was telling them that I didn't know I was going to be in the hospital, it's just something that happened," she said.
Vasquez received an email from the director of the school Monday.
The letter states in part, "After careful review of said documents and their interview with you, it is the grievance committee's recommendation to proceed with the dismissal from the program due to excessive absences."
Vasquez said her medical documentation wasn't taken into consideration.
"I wanted to go back. I want to finish," said Vasquez.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to Valley Grande Institute about the situation. The school says they cannot comment specifically on Vasquez's situation, but said in an email that reads in part:
"All our graduates must master the requirements to successfully and safely provide nursing services. For this reason we have strict policies, including an attendance policy. VGI Stands behind our attendance policy and enforces it systematically and fairly."
CHANNEL 5 NEWS ask the school about their policy when it comes to medical situations for students and whether or not a student can appeal a decision by a grievance committee.
We never received an answer back.
On Valley Grande Institute's website, their grievance policy shows students dissatisfied with the school's response to their complaints with the Texas Workforce Commission, as well as with other relevant agencies or accreditor, if applicable.
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