Standards and Functional Abilities for Nursing Students

The College will consider reasonable and appropriate accommodation for the student to participate fully in the educational program. The following standards and functional abilities are necessary for participation in the nursing program.

Standards Functional Abilities
  • Critical Thinking: ability sufficient for clinical judgment.
  • Reading: ability sufficient to comprehend the written word.
  • Arithmetic: ability sufficient to perform computations at least at the tenth grade level.
  • Hearing: ability sufficient for physical and environmental monitoring.
  • Visual: ability sufficient for accurate observation and assessment.
  • Smell: ability sufficient to detect environmental and client odors.
  • Physical strength/endurance: ability sufficient to perform full range of patient care activities.
  • Motor Skills: ability sufficient to provide safe and effective nursing care.
  • Mobility: ability sufficient to move from room to room and within confined space.
  • Tactile: ability sufficient for physical monitoring and assessment.
  • Communication: ability sufficient for interaction with others, in both the verbal and written English language.
  • Interpersonal skills: ability sufficient to interact with others.
 
  • Identify cause-effect relationship; problem solve; predict/evaluate outcomes; sequence information.
  • Read written documents, graphs, policies, protocols, etc.
  • Measure time; compute medication dosage; count rates; use measuring tools; add, subtract, multiply, divide whole numbers; compute fractions.
  • Auscultate faint body sounds, voices; hear monitor alarms, emergency signals.
  • Observe patient response/condition: distinguish color and color intensity; prepare medication; see graphs, and computer screens.
  • Detect foul smelling odors; detect smoke/gases.
  • Stand for long periods of time at bedside; perform nursing care duties for entire shift; push/pull/support light and heavy objects; carry equipment; support patients in ambulation, turning, standing.
  • Position patients; obtain specimens; calibrate instruments/ equipment; prepare and administer medication; reach and bend with ease; grasp small objects, write, fine motor skills.
  • Move about in populated areas; twist, stoop, squat; move quickly, administer repetitive movements (CPR).
  • Perform palpation; detect hot/cold; detect differences in skin surface; shapes and sizes.
  • Teach; explain procedures; give oral report; speak on the telephone; document and interpret nursing actions and patient responses, and convey information through writing.
  • Establish rapport with patient, family and coworkers; respect differences, negotiate interpersonal conflict, remain calm in crises situations.
 

Adapted from “A Validation Study: Functional Abilities Essential for Nursing Practices” by Carolyn J. Yocum, National Council of State Boards of Nursing. 1996.

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