Adult Nursing Student Refuses To Give Her Phone To Her Teacher To Hold For The Day — And Is Kicked Out Of Class

The encounter highlighted the conflict between personal responsibilities and program requirements.

nursing student, class, phone, school Ground Picture / Shutterstock 

When a nursing student arrived for her clinicals, she was told by her teacher that she would need to hand over her cell phone to her for the next nine hours. 

When she refused to do so, she faced consequences that she argued were unfair. 

Now, the woman is asking others if she was wrong and if it was within her leader’s right to ask for her phone.

The nursing student was asked to leave after she refused to give her teacher her phone for her entire shift. 

The 32-year-old student named Shell detailed her experience in a TikTok video that has been viewed over 1 million times. 




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“The teachers in my program have this rule where when we go to clinicals, we have to physically give our phones to them for 9 hours, except for lunch,” she said. 


However, as the mother to young children, this rule would simply not work for Shell. When Shell explained her situation to her teacher and refused to hand over her phone, she was asked to go home, which she immediately obliged. 

Still, she was not going down without a fight. 

“I ended up leaving, and I call administration at the school because, for one, nowhere in the student handbook, in the policy, nothing that I have signed says that I have to physically give them my phone,” Shell said. 

She emphasized that as a mom, she could not be without her phone for nine hours a day, even if the rest of the students in her program did it without hesitation. 

The administration asked Shell to come in for a meeting regarding the situation, which she detailed in a follow-up video. 


“They really didn’t have a solution to my problem. It was just a solution to their problem,” she said. 



The administration attempted to offer the woman several compromises where she would still be expected to hand over her phone during clinicals, arguing that if they made an exception for her to keep her phone, they would have to grant all of their students the same right. 

“We were just going back and forth,” she said. 


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By the end of the meeting, there was still no concrete solution, leaving the woman feeling as if she was wedged between a rock and a hard place. 

“Do I give them my phone, continue my education, or not continue my education, and keep my phone and go elsewhere for my education?” she wondered aloud. 

Some people pointed out that since it was not stated in the school policy, the woman was not obligated to give up her phone during clinicals. 

Nursing Student Refuses To Give Her Phone To Her Teacher For The DayPhoto: Dean Mitchell / Canva Pro


“If it’s not written as policy or in their handbook, it's an arbitrary rule that means it is based on individual discretion. They either have to include this as written policy because it’s not enforceable,” one TikTok user commented. 

“They need to just have a strict rule that nobody can use their phone except on break or a true emergency. If it becomes a problem then they address it with that individual,” another user wrote. 

Others encouraged the woman to seek legal help or even provide her teacher with a burner phone if it meant keeping her spot in the program. 

While every nursing school has different policies and expectations, some forbid students from carrying their cell phones in the clinical area. 

They may not allow their students to participate in clinicals with their cell phones because of patient privacy issues or because they are concerned that the phones will interfere with their education


Adult Nursing Student Kicked Out Of Class After Refusing To Hand Her Phone To Her Teacher  Photo: New Africa / Shutterstock 

However, students need to be made aware of the policies beforehand, and the rules and regulations are expected to be outlined in the handbook. 

Students like Shell, who need to have their phones on them at all times, should be able to decide if the program is worth pursuing before spending a significant amount of money and time. 


Despite rules and regulations, the woman explained in a follow-up video why she should never be forced to give up her phone regardless of her education or career. 

“I’m a grown woman. I am capable of being able to put my phone in my bag and leaving it in my bag,” she said. 



“My main concern is not only my children’s safety but my own safety as well,” she said. “If I need to get in contact with them, if they need to get in contact with me, if I need to call 911, I got it.” 


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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.