JOPLIN, Mo. – Missouri Southern’s nursing program first came under scrutiny back in May after the State Board of Nursing received an anonymous tip about violations of state regulations.
Professors Sara Staples, Peyton Kessler and Coeta Ogle reported problems during a faculty accreditation meeting in March bringing up concerns about being understaffed and overworked.
A student feedback survey revealed that less than 50% of respondents rated the instructional environment as conductive for learning.
Staples, Kessler, Ogle and another employee suspected of providing the tip to the State Board of Nursing were dismissed.
Now the trio of professors are seeking damages against the university in the form of “lost salary…suffering…and mental anguish.”
MSSU declined to comment on any pending litigation, but said in part:
“…we know how important our nursing program is to this university, as well as the Four State area – and we are unequivocally dedicated and committed to ensuring it is of exceptional quality and will provide students with an outstanding educational experience.”
Last year, falling board pass rates and fewer instructors in the program prompted MSSU and the Missouri State Board of Nursing to begin the process for curriculum changes.
While the state board told MSSU during its July inspection that they may be ordered to accept no new students, the university continued to enroll a new cohort.
Missouri Southern says new nursing program leadership and faculty have been hired, but the future of the university’s nursing program still faces hurdles.
Staples, Ogle and Kessler are being represented by the Thornberry Brown law firm of Kansas City.
Thornberry declined comment at this time, referring only to the petitions for details.KESSLER PETITION