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Skills and Capabilities for Successful Completion of the Nursing Program

Applicants for admission to the Breen School of Nursing are considered on an individual basis regardless of gender, race, color, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, veteran status, or physical ability. Students are personally responsible for meeting all standards and qualifications required for successfully completing the professional nursing curriculum. As students enter into the curriculum, they need to identify problems that could potentially influence their abilities to successfully progress through the nursing program.

Students with disabilities, including those with learning disabilities, may be entitled to reasonable accommodations for educational courses; however, accommodations are not automatically provided by educational institutions. Due to FERPA guidelines and other laws protecting the rights of students, faculty members are not permitted to ask students about disabilities. Thus, students with disabilities are personally responsible for providing the school with documentation of their disabilities and actively seeking assistance in the form of reasonable accommodations. Students need to request accommodations at the beginning of each semester by contacting the Office of Academic Support and Disabilities Services (Mullen 312, 449-2049).

Students with declared disabilities are responsible for working closely with the Office of Academic Support and Disabilities Services and are entitled to reasonable accommodations for assistance as they move through the didactic and clinical nursing courses. Students with declared disabilities need to understand that they will be expected to meet course/program requirements with reasonable accommodations. The intention of the nursing faculty and administrators within the Breen School of Nursing is to ensure patient safety as well as student success throughout the academic program in preparation for post-graduate employment. A student may not progress through the curriculum if the disability begins to pose a direct threat to the health and safety of patients in clinical settings.

Students pursuing a nursing degree must be able to demonstrate, with or without accommodations, possession of the following capabilities and skills (this is a representative list, not exhaustive list):


Observational Skills:

Observation, as one feature of patient assessment, through the functional use of the senses (sight, touch, and hearing).

Visual capabilities sufficient for observing demonstrations of nursing procedures and skills.

Visual acuity, with or without corrective lenses, to read small print on medication labels and/or physician's orders, calibrate equipment, perform physical assessment and recognize when a patient is in imminent danger.

Hearing capabilities with or without auditory aids for understanding normal speaking voices without seeing the individual's face and for hearing emergency alarms, calls for 4-9-08 2 assistance, call bells, and stethoscope sounds related to heart, lung, abdominal, and blood pressure assessments.



Communication Skills:


Verbal and language capabilities for speaking with patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in patient mood, activity, posture, skin appearance, and observe nonverbal communications as a part of thorough patient assessment.

Verbal and language capabilities for communicating effectively and sensitively with patients regarding a nursing plan of care.

Capabilities for interacting with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds.

Reading and writing skills sufficient for patient communication, record keeping, and professional health care team interaction.



Motor Skills:

Manual dexterity and fine motor skills, including the ability to draw up medication in a syringe.

Capabilities for providing general physical care and emergency response to patients as necessary, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), administration of intravenous, intramuscular or subcutaneous medications, application of pressure to stop bleeding, calibration of instruments, lifting, positioning, and transfer of patients.

Capabilities for coordinating both gross and fine muscular movements and the ability to move quickly; physical stamina needed for at least six hours in the clinical setting per day twice per week as a student.



Behavioral, Social, and Ethical Skills:


Emotional health required for full use of intellectual abilities, exercise of good judgment, prompt completion of all responsibilities related to the nursing care of patients.

Capabilities for developing mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients from diverse social, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds.

Capabilities for tolerating physically and mentally taxing workloads and functioning effectively under stress.

Awareness of ethical actions related to the well being of others and as part of the direct patient service role required of registered nurses.