Essential Functions

Essential Functions

For Admission, Progression, & Graduation

An individual must be able to independently, with or without reasonable accommodation, meet the following safety and technical standards.

General Abilities

To provide quality nursing care, the student is expected to possess functional use of the senses of vision, touch, hearing, and smell so that data received by the senses may be integrated, analyzed, and synthesized in a consistent and accurate manner. The student must possess the ability to perceive pain, pressure, temperature, position, vibration, and movement. The student must be able to respond immediately to urgent situations that may occur during clinical training and must not hinder the ability of other members of the health care team to provide prompt treatment and care.

Observational Ability

The student must be able to make accurate visual observations and interpret them in the context of nursing care. Inherent in this process is the functional use of the senses and sufficient motor capability to perform assessment activities.


The student must be able to communicate effectively, both verbally and non-verbally, and receive communication effectively. Students must be able to read, write, comprehend, and speak the English language to facilitate communication in the health care setting. This requires the student to be able to speak, hear, read, and write effectively, maintain health care documentation, including computer literacy skills.

Motor Ability

The student must be able to perform gross and fine motor movements to provide safe nursing care. The student must have the ability to perform or assist with procedures, treatments, administration of medications, and emergency interventions. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch, hearing, smell, and vision. Nursing students are required to elicit independently information by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and manually-based diagnostic procedures. The student must also have physical strength and stamina to perform nursing care satisfactorily.

Cognitive Ability

The student must be able to demonstrate critical thinking skills to provide safe nursing care. The student is expected to speak, listen, read, write, reason, and perform mathematical functions for safe nursing care, and demonstrate sound judgment in the health care setting.

Behavioral/Social Attributes

The student must be able to demonstrate professional behavior and conduct consistent with the American Nurses' Association Scope and Standards of Practice and the Code of Ethics for Nurses.

Click here for a copy of the essential functions form.


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